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Allied-Signal to buy Westinghouse laminates division

MORRIS TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- Allied-Signal Inc., the aerospace and automotive company, said Monday it signed an agreement to acquire Westinghouse Electric Corp.'s laminates division for $105 million.

Under the agreement, Allied-Signal's Norplex Oak division will purchase Baltimore-based Westinghouse Electronic Systems Group's copper laminates and its wholly owned Fortin Industries Inc. subsidiary.

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Both Westinghouse divisions manufacture materials used in the production of printed circuit boards for the electronics industry. Norplex Oak is a supplier of printed circuitry laminates with sales of approximately $400 million.

The sale, expected to be completed in September, takes Westinghouse out of the printed circuit board business, said Jack Martin, a spokeman at Westinghouse in Pittsburgh.

Allied-Signal approached Westinghouse to purchase its laminates businesses, Martin said.

Even though Westinghouse did not initiate the sale, Martin said the laminates business 'doesn't fit our business strength. Essentially it is a materials related manufacturing business, which is not one of the Electronic Systems Group's strengths.'

He said Westinghouse wanted to focus on its advanced electronics business, producing systems such as radar for civilian and military use and air-traffic control systems..

The sale includes Westinghouse division offices in Sylmar, Calif., manufacturing operations in Pendelton, S.C., and facilites in Britain and France. The division employs about 650 people.

Westinghouse said Allied Signal has expressed its intention to offer employment to workers affected by the sale.

'This purchase fits with Allied-Signal's strategy to strengthen its existing businesses and better serve our expanding global markets,' said Fred Poses, president of Allied-Signal's engineered materials sector.

'The acquisition will allow us to compete more effectively in a global market-place where raw materials, laminates and printed circuit boards are supplied from all areas of the world,' said Norplex Oak President Tom Williams. 'We will continue to serve Westinghouse's worldwide customer base with high quality laminate materials.'

Allied-Signal said the worldwide copper-clad laminates market represents about $3 billion in sales.

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