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3M to Buy French Cleaning Products Company for $182 Million

September 6, 1988

MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (AP) _ 3M Co. said it has agreed to buy Spontex, a French supplier of household and commercial cleaning products, from Paris-based Chargeurs SA for around 1.1 billion French francs, or $182 million.

The cash purchase is expected to be completed in November, 3M said Tuesday in a prepared statement.

Spontex manufactures and sells textile, sponge and other synthetic wiping products used in the household and building service markets.

Founded in 1932, Spontex has 1,650 employees in France, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Britain, West Germany, Australia, Argentina and the United States. Its products are sold in 70 other countries through distributors.

Spontex’s worldwide sales are around $166 million a year, 3M said.

The French company will operate as a separate subsidiary and its products will continue to be sold under the Spontex brand, said Marc Adam, group vice president of 3M Consumer Products.

Alain Limouzineau, chairman and managing director of Spontex, will continue to head the company’s worldwide operations.

″This acquisition reflects 3M’s commitment to the consumer market and will enable us to broaden our offerings to consumers worldwide,″ Adam said. ″We believe we can apply 3M technologies to Spontex’s product lines to produce new generations of products in the future.″

3M is a diversified manufacturer serving industrial, commercial and consumer markets in 51 countries. It has traditionally built its consumer business mainly through development of new products, using a number of 3M technologies. 3M had net income of $918 million in 1987 on worldwide sales of $9.4 billion.

Chargeurs, the parent of Spontex, is a diversified industrial holding company. Its other subsidiaries are engaged mainly in air transport, textile manufacturing and communications.

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