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Australian Transport Cos. To Merge

April 19, 2001

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ Australian transport and logistics giant Brambles Industries Ltd said Thursday it will merge with British company GKN PLC, creating a business worth almost 20 billion Australian dollars ($10 billion).

Brambles said the new company, to keep the name Brambles Industries, will have annual sales of more than 7.1 billion Australian dollars ($3.6 billion).

Brambles, which rents pallets for transporting goods, will merge its assets with GKN’s share of the Chep pallet and Cleanaway joint ventures.

``Brambles and GKN have enjoyed a close commercial relation for nearly three decades,″ said Brambles chairman Don Argus.

Under the merger agreement, Brambles shareholders will have a 57 percent stake in the new company, and GKN shareholders will have a 43 percent share.

Argus and GKN chief executive C.K. Chow will head the enterprise, which will have its headquarters in Australia and be listed on both the London and Sydney Stock Exchanges.

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