EXEL TO ACQUIRE THE BELGIUM-BASED BEKAER

EXEL OYJ    STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE  17.12.2003 at 16.45  1 (2)


EXEL TO ACQUIRE THE BELGIUM-BASED BEKAERT’S COMPOSITE PROFILE
BUSINESS

Exel Oyj has today signed a preliminary agreement with regard to
the acquisition of the pultrusion business operations of the
Belgium-based Bekaert Progressive Composites (BPC). If matters
that are under investigation prove to be as agreed, Exel will take
possession of the business operations around the end of January
2004. Bekaert Progressive Composites is a part of the Belgian N.V.
Bekaert S.A. Group, which is one of the leading steel wire product
manufacturers in the world. BPC is one of the leading companies in
the pultrusion industry.

BPC’s pultrusion production operations are located in Oudenaarde,
Belgium and in Munguia, Spain. There are over 200 different
customer profiles in continuous production. In addition, BPC also
has a comprehensive standard profile range. Main application areas
are transportation and construction industries.

BPC employs some 60 persons in Belgium. The Spanish operations
will continue under Bekaert excluding pultrusion machinery which
will be transferred to Exel. Bekaert and Exel have signed a
subcontract agreement according to which Bekaert will manufacture
for Exel the pultrusion profiles for the Spanish market at its
Munguia factory for the time being.

The net sales of Bekaert Progressive Composites are some EUR 13
million in 2003. On an annual basis the acquisition is expected to
increase Exel’s net sales with the corresponding sum.

Exel acquires BPC’s pultrusion operations, stocks, outstanding
accounts, machinery and equipment, patents and accounts payable,
but not the company’s other debts. The acquisition does not
include real estate property. Purchase price including expenses
will be a maximum of EUR 7 million, depending on the final book
value of assets at the time of closing. Goodwill is estimated to
account for approximately EUR 0.7-0.8 million of the total price.

The acquisition of BPC’s operations is a significant step in the
realization of Exel’s strategic objectives. With the acquisition
Exel becomes by far the number one pultrusion company in Europe
measured by net sales, and also one of the largest worldwide.
Exel’s objective is to become the leading pultrusion company in
selected segments including thin-walled profiles, carbon fibre
profiles and Pull-Winding tubes.

BPC’s product range and customers complete Exel’s present
clientele. BPC’s machinery consists mainly of special machines
designed to produce large profiles. Exel has lacked, from time to
                                                      2 (2)

time, such capacity. Furthermore, the agent and distributor
network combined with Exel’s existing network forms a
comprehensive contact surface for new customers in Central Europe.


Mäntyharju, 17 December 2003


Ari Jokelainen
President & CEO


Further information:
Mr Ari Jokelainen, President, Exel Oyj, tel. +358 50 590 6750
Mr Vesa Korpimies, Vice-President, Exel Oyj, tel. +358 50 590 6754



Exel Oyj is a Finnish company specialised in composite technology.
In 2002 the Group’s net sales totalled EUR 51.2 million. It
employs 350 persons. The Group’s operations consist of industrial
applications and sporting goods. Exel’s most well-known products
include composite profiles, cross-country and Nordic Walking
poles, floorball clubs and surfboard masts. The Group’s four
factories are located in Finland and Germany. Over 70% of
production is exported. Exel’s share is listed on Helsinki
Exchanges main list.
Further information: www.exel.net




About Us

Exel Composites (www.exelcomposites.com) is a leading composite technology company that designs, manufactures and markets composite products and solutions for demanding applications. Exel Composites provides superior customer experience through continuous innovation, world-class operations and long-term partnerships. The core of the operations is based on own, internally developed composite technology, product range based on it and strong market position in selected segments with a strong quality and brand image. Profitable growth is pursued by a relentless search for new applications and development in co-operation with customers. The personnel’s expertise and high level of technology play a major role in Exel Composites’ operations. Exel Composites Plc share is listed in Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd.

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