02.05.08

Clear-cut Statement from Argillon
Business Units to be Independent

At a staff meeting on Tuesday the executive board of Argillon GmbH announced the spin-off of its individual business units. The Alumina, Insulator and Piezo units including the related corporate functions are to be made legally independent. The employees affected by this will be transferred to three Argillon subsidiaries.

Dr. Georg Weyer, chairman of the board of Argillon GmbH, explained that this restructuring would among other things help prepare for a possible sale later on. However, a suitable buyer had not yet been found. If no suitable buyer can be found, the subsidiaries will remain part of the Johnson Matthey group. Weyer and his colleague Tim Ley will also take over management of the subsidiaries.

Due to these spin-offs, the management has negotiated a supplementary accord to the restructuring agreement with trade union IG Metall and given some major commitments. Weyer said, "The continued validity of the restructuring agreement concluded in 2006 and in particular our inclusion of job security until 2011 is to be assured for the transferred workers even after the spin-off. Our subsidiaries have accepted the restructuring agreement."

In January, the German cartel office had approved the sale of the Argillon Group to Johnson Matthey Plc, London. Argillon is a versatile international company with solid expertise in the field of modern ceramic materials. It manufactures numerous technical ceramic products such as high, medium and low voltage insulators, innovative piezo-ceramics as well as a large number of products made of alumina (aluminium oxide). Applications to protect the environment such as catalytic converters, which help reduce nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx), especially in coal-fired power stations, with diesel stationary motors and medium and heavy-duty diesel transporters, make up a considerable proportion of Argillon's business.

The Argillon Group's new owner, Johnson Matthey Plc, currently operates mainly in the following fields: manufacturing auto catalytic converters, heavy-duty diesel catalytic converters, pollutant emission monitoring systems, catalytic converters and components for fuel cells, catalytic converters and technologies for chemical processes, refined chemicals, chemical catalytic converters and active pharmaceutical agents as well as the marketing, refining and production of precious metals. Johnson Matthey is a global leader in the production of catalytic converters to monitor vehicle exhaust emissions. The group is also a leading provider of catalytic converter systems to reduce the discharge of volatile organic compounds in industrial processes. In the financial year 2006/07 Johnson Matthey posted revenue of £6.152 billion and employed approx. 7,800 people in over 30 countries (further information is available at www.matthey.com).

Redwitz, 2 May 2008


Contact:
Norbert Kirchner
PR
Argillon GmbH
Bahnhofstr. 43
96257 Redwitz
Tel.: 09574/81-249
Fax: 09574/81-610

Press:
Ruth Witteler-Koch
Tel.: 09574/81-233
Fax: 09574/81- 646
presse(at)argillon.com

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