Coats

Coats plc

Completion of GPG investment portfolio realisation programme

On 30 September 2013, GPG announced the sale of its entire shareholding (33.6%) in TOWER Limited for £60.7million (NZ$118.3 million).

TOWER Limited represented the last material investment for GPG (excluding Coats) and the imminent completion of this transaction will mark the end of the GPG investment portfolio realisation programme and fulfillment of a key tenet of the revised GPG strategic plan announced to shareholders on 11 February 2011.

On 1 January 2011, shortly before the announcement of the revised strategic plan, GPG had an investment portfolio (ex-Coats) with a market value of approximately £677 million (NZ$1,322 million at current exchange rates), consisting of some 55 investments in listed and unlisted businesses in jurisdictions including Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

It was never intended to embark on a fire sale of the investment portfolio, so considerable time was invested at the commencement of the realisation programme to formulate strategic exit paths and, where possible, do so in co-operation with GPG’s underlying investee companies.  Most of GPG’s investment portfolio - in value terms - consisted of significant shareholdings in illiquid companies.  The ensuing two and a half year divestment programme has involved a focused effort to realise value through a range of public and private market transactions.

The value realisation programme has been completed within the timetable set by the GPG Board, with total cash proceeds generated since 1 January 2011 of £698 million (NZ$1,363 million).

Following achievement of this milestone, the GPG Board remains focused on repositioning Coats – the world’s leading industrial thread and consumer textile crafts business – as a stand-alone listed entity.  The GPG Board also remains fully committed to overseeing the UK Pension Regulator’s current investigation into the GPG and Coats related pension schemes.  This process is likely to continue well into the 2014 calendar year and the GPG Board will keep shareholders informed of any material developments.

ENDS

For more information contact:

New Zealand and Australian media: Geoff Senescall +64 9 309 5659

UK media: Kevin Smith +44 207282 1054

Coats plc: Anna Mitchell +44 20 8210 5015

Notes to Editors

About Coats

With a rich heritage dating back to the 1750s, Coats is the world's leading industrial thread and consumer textile crafts business, at home in more than 70 countries, employing over 20,000 people across six continents. Revenues in 2012 were US$1.7bn.

Our well-known brands and strong relationships with customers and consumers mean our products and services meet current and future needs. Our company-wide understanding of our business partners and consumers, coupled with the deep expertise of our people, builds trust and certainty.

Coats’ pioneering history and innovative culture ensure the company continues leading the way around the world: providing complementary and value added products and services to the apparel and footwear industries; extending the crafts offer into new markets and online; and applying innovative techniques to develop products in new areas such as tracer threads, aramids and fibre optics.

  • One in five garments on the planet is held together using Coats’ thread
  • 75 million car airbags are made using Coats’ thread every year
  • Coats produces enough yarn to knit 65 million scarves a year
  • In three and a half hours, Coats makes enough thread to go to the moon and back
  • 300 million pairs of shoes are made every year using Coats’ thread
  • One million teabags using Coats’ thread are brewed every 10 minutes
  • Thousands of surgical operations take place every day using Coats’ thread
  • Thomas Edison used Coats’ thread in 1879 to invent the light bulb
  • Coats produces enough thread to reach around the Equator every 11 minutes
  • Coats is the second largest and fastest growing global zip manufacturer

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