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HANSON: 92 MILLION DOLLAR SALE OF US ROAD PAVING BUSINESSES TO COLAS

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Hanson PLC, the international building materials company, has sold the road paving construction businesses of Spectrum Construction Group Inc. ("Spectrum") and certain other assets to Colas, Inc. The cash sale price of 92 million dollars (£55m) is approximately equivalent to current net asset value and is subject to a final audit of the closing net assets.

The sale completes Hanson's disposal of Spectrum following the sale of its heavy and industrial construction businesses to Skanska (U.S.A.) Inc., on April 8, 1998.

Christopher Collins, chairman of Hanson, said: "The sale of Spectrum reflects Hanson's strategy of focusing on building materials and improving margins. The proceeds will be used to build up our core businesses through internal investment and acquisition."

Notes to Editors:

1) Spectrum, which operates in the US construction services industry, is a division of Hanson's US building materials arm, Cornerstone Construction & Materials. Spectrum's sales and operating profit in the year to December 31, 1997 were 612m dollars (#374m) and 11.4m dollars (£7.0m) respectively.

2) Colas, Inc. is a subsidiary of Colas S.A., the leading road construction and maintenance group.

3) The Spectrum companies included in the transaction are Sloan Construction Company (based in Greenville, South Carolina); Nello L. Teer Company (based in Morrisville, North Carolina); Reeves Construction Company (based in Americus, Georgia); Sully-Miller Contracting (based in Anaheim, California); Blue Diamond Inglewood Asphalt Corporation (based in Anaheim, California); and HRI, Inc. (based in State College, Pennsylvania). In the year to December 31, 1997, the sales of these businesses amounted to 330.9m dollars (£202.2m).

4) The transaction also includes certain hot mix asphalt ("HMA") plant and equipment operated by the Kaiser division of Cornerstone. The sales and operating profit attributable to these assets in the year to December 31, 1997 were 31.7m dollars (#19.4m) and 2.0m dollars (#1.2m) respectively. Current estimated net assets are 3.9m dollars (£2.3m).

5) Cornerstone's materials divisions will continue to operate other HMA related businesses. These produce their own paving material (1997 HMA volume - 5.5 million tons) and primarily use aggregates supplied by Cornerstone.

6) In 1997 (excluding Spectrum and the assets in note 4. above), aggregates accounted for 46% of Cornerstone's sales while concrete pipe contributed 13%, HMA 11%, cement 10% and other products 20%.

SOURCE Colas, Inc



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