Bekaert in €281.5 Million Sale of European Fencing Division

January 12, 2005

Cleary Gottlieb represented NV Bekaert SA in the sale of its European fencing business, wholly-owned subsidiary Bekaert Fencing NV, to Gilde Investment Management BV, a private equity investor based in The Netherlands. The transaction, which has an equity value of €281.5 million, was announced today.

The transaction was carried out by a controlled auction process, in which a number of prospective purchasers conducted due diligence and submitted markups of sale documents. The Cleary Gottlieb team worked with local counsel to advise NV Bekaert SA throughout the auction process, and drafted and negotiated sale documents.

Bekaert Fencing NV is the leading manufacturer of wire-based fencing systems and industrial mesh in Europe, with production sites in 7 European jurisdictions. NV Bekaert SA plans to use the sale proceeds to focus on its most promising activities – advanced metal transformation and advanced materials and coatings.