Lincoln Electric announces agreement for acquisition in China

March 17, 2009

Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc. has announced that its Asian subsidiary, The Lincoln Electric Company (Asia Pacific) Pte., Ltd. ("Lincoln Asia Pacific"), has signed definitive agreements to expand its welding consumables business in China by acquiring 100 percent control of Jinzhou Jin Tai Welding and Metal Co., Ltd. ("Jin Tai"), a welding wire business in Jinzhou, China. Lincoln Asia Pacific currently owns 48 percent of Jin Tai, and the remaining 52 percent is held by Taiwan-based Kuang Tai Metal Industrial Co., Ltd. ("Kuang Tai") and other partners.

"The definitive agreements signed [March 16] represent a strategic repositioning for both parties and marks an important step in the evolution of our business in China," said John M. Stropki, chairman and CEO. "Jin Tai will greatly expand our customer base and brings significant cost-competitive MIG wire manufacturing capacity under Lincoln Electric's control. In addition to improving our market position in China by adding an important consumable offering in welding wire, this acquisition will also provide us a low cost and high quality product platform for major export markets.

"We have had a productive and successful relationship with our joint venture partner. We look forward to continuing and expanding our business with Kuang Tai, both as an important global supplier and as a key customer for Lincoln's global products. We also look forward to ongoing collaboration with Chou Tai Long, Kuang Tai's chairman, to leverage his experience and proven track record in product development and production technologies."

In reaching agreement with Kuang Tai and Chairman Chou, Lincoln Asia Pacific will exchange its 35 percent ownership interest in Kuang Tai for the 52 percent of Jin Tai that it does not currently own, pay cash of an estimated $38 million and assume Jin Tai's debt of approximately $18 million, subject to final adjustments at closing.

The transaction is subject to approval by both Kuang Tai's shareholders and government regulatory agencies, with closing expected on or about July 1, 2009, subject to the satisfaction or waiver of customary conditions.

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