Druck agrees sale to General Electric of USA. The two co-founders of Druck Holdings, a maker of pressure sensors, will share over £117m after agreeing its sale to America's General Electric, the world's biggest company. John Salmon, Druck's 65-year-old chairman, and Mike Bertioli, its 69-year-old director of advanced technology, control between them 33.5m unlisted shares - equivalent to 51.4pc of the company. GE, the US industrial conglomerate, is paying 350p cash for each share, valuing the company at £229m. This represents a 17pc premium to the closing price on May 8, before Druck revealed that it was in bid talks. Mr Salmon said: "I am delighted. The board concluded that the interests of shareholders, employees and customers would be best served by combining Druck with a company that would provide greater resources and market access in the industry." Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein will be handling the sale for Druck, having brought the Leicester-based company to market in 1982. At that time the shares were 13p. Yesterday they advanced 4 to a new high of 348p. The two scientists founded Druck in 1972, when sales were £3m and pre-tax profits were £800,000. They invented a device to measure pressure that was five times more accurate than anything else on the market. The technology is used in everything from machines to regulate the bubbles in fizzy drinks to cockpit instruments in aircraft. The company now employs about 1,000 workers producing electronic pressure measurement, control and calibration devices for clients including Boeing and the US and British armies. Nearly 40pc of Druck's turnover is derived from North America and the UK. Last December Druck reported that pre-tax profits for the six months to September 30 had risen 2pc to £6.3m on turnover 8pc higher at £37.5m. The company said that trading had continued to make satisfactory progress since then. Lloyd Trotter, president and chief executive of GE's industrial systems division, said: "Druck fits perfectly into our growth strategy for the measurements and sensing components of our business and allows us to offer a more complete line of products." ________________________________________________ For more information, please contact :- Druck Ltd.
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May 2002

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