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17/08/2010

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Balta Group to buy Domo Group's floor covering activities

·     Consolidation of market position for broadloom carpet and extension of product range with carpet tiles and needle felt
·     Extension of polypropylene yarn and fibre capacity
·     Optimization of geographical presence and distribution channels

Sint-Baafs-Vijve/Zwijnaarde, August 17, 2010. - Balta is buying Domo Floorcoverings. More specifically, broadloom carpet and needle felt (production site in Oudenaarde), carpet tiles (production site in Zele) and yarn & fibre activities (production site in Ghent) are sold to the Balta Group. All activities shall be continued based on current volumes and employment shall be sustained. The Domo artificial grass activities (production site in Sint-Niklaas) and Xentrys nylon carpet yarn (production site Leuna) are not implicated in this transaction. Balta is granted use of the Domo brand name within Floorcoverings until end of 2013.

This acquisition falls within the purview of Balta Group's strategy – which is a part of the private equity company Doughty Hanson – of creating a profitable and diversified floor covering company. This acquisition will enhance Balta's product range – which already consisted of broadloom carpet, rugs and laminate flooring – with the addition of carpet tiles and needle felt. The company's position for broadloom carpet is further consolidated.
This transaction represents a major step for Domo Group in the further elaboration of its long-term strategy. Domo Group is presenting itself as a diversified investment company with activities in three domains: chemicals, real estate and private equity.
Jules Noten, CEO Balta Group: "This is a splendid opportunity for us. Until today Balta had no activities related to carpet tiles and needle felt. This will open up a whole new world of products and distribution channels. For broadloom carpet, our residential customers have chosen collections by Balta, ITC and Domo Floorcoverings. With these various collections we can tap into the strengths and geographical complementarity of each of these business units, without neglecting to harvest the potential synergies operationally."
Balta Group will retain the identities of the various business units including Balta, Domo Floorcoverings, ITC and Balterio, as well as the brands Berclon, Line A, Captiqs, Modulyss and Balterio. Subsequent to the transaction, Balta's total turnover shall amount to around 700 million Euros, and the company shall employ around 4,000 group employees, mainly in Belgium, Turkey and the United States.
Jules Noten: "Balta Group shall adapt the organization of operations in order to focus in the most efficient manner on the best possible product-market combinations and the implementation of synergies. This transaction will create an overlap only for broadloom carpet. After an evaluation period the product ranges will be optimally spread across the various manufacturing facilities and segments."
"The sale of the floor covering activities to Balta will allow for the continuation of strategy for market-oriented product ranges and brands such as Modulyss and Captiqs" says Gregory De Clerck of Domo Group. "These past few years Domo Group's strategy has been aimed at creating a diversified company portfolio consisting of independent businesses each with their own strategies."
The transaction is expected to be concluded by the end of next month following approval by the competition authorities.
(End of press statement)

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Note to the editors: for more information kindly turn to:
Balta Group - Jules Noten
Tel: +32 56 62 22 11
E-mail: jules.noten@baltagroup.com
Domo Group - Gregory De Clerck
Tel: +32 9 241 45 06
E-mail: gregory.declerck@domo.org

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