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Aeci - Special Dividend Declaration

Release Date: 29/09/1999 13:05:20      Code(s): AFE AED5AFEP
AECI LIMITED
(INCORPORATED IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA)
(REGISTRATION NUMBER 04/02590/06)
("AECI")
SPECIAL DIVIDEND DECLARATION
AT A GENERAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS ON 8 SEPTEMBER 1999, THE SALE OF AECI'S 40
PER CENT SHAREHOLDING IN POLIFIN LIMITED TO SASOL LIMITED WAS APPROVED. THE
PROCEEDS FROM THIS TRANSACTION, AMOUNTING TO SOME R2,2 BILLION INCLUDING
INTEREST, WERE RECEIVED BY AECI ON 16 SEPTEMBER 1999.
AT A MEETING OF THE BOARD ON 28 SEPTEMBER 1999, THE DIRECTORS REVIEWED THE
FINANCING STRUCTURE OF THE GROUP IN THE CONTEXT OF THE CONTINUING
TRANSFORMATION PROGRAMME AND THE FUNDING REQUIRED TO SUPPORT GROWTH IN CORE
BUSINESSES. THE BOARD HAS DECIDED THAT IT IS APPROPRIATE TO RETURN A
SUBSTANTIAL PORTION OF THE PROCEEDS FROM THE POLIFIN DISPOSAL TO SHAREHOLDERS
BY WAY OF A SPECIAL DIVIDEND OF R6 PER SHARE.
THIS DIVIDEND WILL BE PAYABLE ON OR ABOUT 29 NOVEMBER 1999 TO SHAREHOLDERS
REGISTERED IN THE BOOKS OF THE COMPANY AT THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS ON 1 NOVEMBER
1999. THE TRANSFER BOOKS AND REGISTER OF MEMBERS WILL BE CLOSED FROM 2 NOVEMBER
TO 12 NOVEMBER 1999, BOTH DAYS INCLUSIVE.
AFTER PAYMENT OF THE SPECIAL DIVIDEND OF R928 MILLION, AND STC THEREON, NET
BORROWINGS AT YEAR-END ARE NOT EXPECTED TO EXCEED 20 PER CENT OF TOTAL
SHAREHOLDER FUNDS. THE BOARD WILL CONTINUE TO REVIEW THE FUNDING REQUIREMENTS
OF THE GROUP AS THE TRANSFORMATION PROGRAMME PROGRESSES WITH A VIEW TO
OPTIMISING VALUE FOR SHAREHOLDERS. THE SHORT-TERM FOCUS REMAINS ON UNLOCKING
VALUE THROUGH FURTHER DISPOSALS OF NON-CORE ASSETS AND THE REDUCTION OF WORKING
CAPITAL. AS THIS PROGRAMME CONTINUES TO GENERATE CASH WITHIN THE GROUP,
CONSIDERATION WILL BE GIVEN TO A FURTHER SPECIAL DISTRIBUTION TO SHAREHOLDERS
IN THE NEXT FINANCIAL YEAR.
A POSITIVE TREND IS EVIDENT IN TRADING RESULTS FOR THE SECOND HALF OF 1999 AND
HEADLINE EARNINGS PER SHARE FOR THE FULL YEAR ARE NOW COMFORTABLY EXPECTED TO
EXCEED 1998 EARNINGS IN REAL TERMS.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
A J TRAHAR        CHAIRMAN
L C VAN VUGHT     MANAGING DIRECTOR
29 SEPTEMBER 1999



                                        
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