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February 9, 2005

Brown Gibbons Lang & Company Announces the Sale of Syron Engineering & Manufacturing, LLC to IMI plc

Brown Gibbons Lang & Company (BGL) announced today the sale of its client, Syron Engineering & Manufacturing, LLC to IMI plc.

Syron is a world leading provider of transfer automation tooling solutions that optimize the efficiency of high volume metal stamping presses utilized by automobile manufacturers and their Tier-1 and Tier-2 suppliers. IMI plc (IMI LN)is a diversified industrial engineering solutions business whose Norgren subsidiary provides global automobile manufacturers with “end-of-arm” tooling products and services that are complementary to Syron’s transfer automation tooling products and services.

IMI purchased Syron from its owners, which included Milwaukee-based private equity investment firm, Cedar Creek Partners, subordinated debt provider, Midwest Mezzanine, and company management.

Syron’s owners selected BGL to sell the company largely due to BGL’s extensive experience in the automation, automotive, and electrical controls markets. Tim Lynch, Syron’s chief executive officer said, “Our primary goal at the outset of the sale process was to find the optimal buyer for the business that could further enhance Syron’s already strong products and services offering to better serve our customers, maintain the entrepreneurial culture of the company, and provide the highest value to our shareholders who have supported the company and our customers for many years. BGL delivered that optimal buyer.”

David Nicholas, IMI’s executive director (Fluid Controls) said, “Syron has built an excellent reputation as a U.S. market leader in tooling solutions for transfer presses and complements the existing in-plant automotive operations of our Norgren business, extending its reach into transfer press tooling. The acquisition represents a significant opportunity for Norgren to develop the range of services that it provides to the automotive sector and to strengthen its relationships with leading automotive customers on a global basis.”

Jay Greyson, director of BGL and the head of its Electrical, Automation & Controls practice said, “Syron is an exceptional company that helps its customers achieve significant gains in manufacturing productivity. We were able to effectively communicate the considerable value of Syron’s productivity solutions and successfully differentiate the company from capital equipment and component suppliers serving the automotive market. As a result, BGL generated significant global interest in the company, culminating in the purchase by IMI.”

Robert Cook, managing director of Cedar Creek Partners said, “We engaged BGL after interviewing several other investment banks, because we were convinced BGL possessed the industry knowledge and transaction expertise to deliver the highest value for Syron. BGL found an excellent partner for Syron in IMI while generating significant value for our limited partners. We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the transaction.”

About IMI plc

IMI plc is a global engineering company specializing in providing innovative solutions and services for a wide range of industrial and retail customers. IMI’s operations share the following core characteristics: strong market positions in growing markets; the ability to be clearly differentiated from their competitors through technological innovation or after-sales service; and the provision of ‘added value’ through bespoke solutions rather than a high manufacturing or material content. IMI is quoted on the London Stock Exchange and is capitalized at approximately £1.5bn. For more information, please visit