Saint-Gobain Acquires Dahl International, a Building Distribution Leader in Scandinavia With Sales of Euro 1.4bn

The Building Distribution Division of Saint-Gobain announces the acquisition of Dahl International AB, the leader in sanitary, heating and plumbing distribution in Scandinavia, for a total consideration of euro 686 million.

Founded in 1866 by the Dahl brothers, Dahl International AB serves three markets: sanitary-heating-plumbing; hydraulic and drainage for public works; industrial plumbing.The company has a network of 260 outlets in Sweden (81 outlets), Norway (50 outlets), Denmark (60 outlets) and Finland (22 outlets), as well as 43 outlets in Poland and 4 in Estonia.It has a leadership position in each of these countries. In 2003, it posted sales of SEK 12.5 billion (euro 1.4 billion) and employs over 3,400 people.

The cash consideration for the acquisition amounts to SEK 6,311 million (euro 686 million), including SEK 2,963 million (euro 322 million) in the form of transferred debt. This represents respectively 0.5 and 8.6 times the amount of 2003 sales and proforma* operating income (SEK 733 million or euros 80 million). The acquisition will have a positive impact as of 2004 on the Group's net income (after taxes and goodwill amortization).

The acquisition enables the Building Materials Distribution Division of Saint-Gobain to extend its European leadership to Scandinavia, by setting up in five new countries. It will also enable the Division to continue to develop its specialized business lines by strengthening its position in the European sanitary, heating and plumbing market. Finally, it provides the Division with a solid base for the development of its various businesses in Scandinavia.

This significant acquisition underscores Saint-Gobain's growth strategy and ambitions for its Building Distribution Division. It is consistent with Saint-Gobain's strategy combining organic growth, external growth in the new businesses (Building Distribution, High Performance Materials) and development in emerging countries, supported by a strong balance sheet.

The completion of the acquisition will be subject to approval by the appropriate competition authorities.

The Building Distribution Division of Saint-Gobain employs over 50,000 people, and reported 2003 sales of euro 11.3 billion. The Dahl acquisition will enable it to consolidate its position as the European leader in building materials distribution, through a network of over 3,100 sales outlets located in 14 countries. The Division's main brands are Point.P, Jewson, Raab Karcher, Lapeyre and La Plateforme du Batiment. Its major specialized brands for the distribution of sanitary, heating and plumbing products are Cedeo in France and Graham in the United Kingdom.

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