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Armstrong Enters Into Talks Regarding Sale Of Commerical Carpet Unit

BIETIGHEIM, Germany, Feb. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Armstrong DLW AG, a subsidiary of U.S.-based Armstrong Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ACK) said today thatit had entered into talks with CVC Capital Partners on the possible sale ofthe European components of its Textiles and Sports Flooring division, which operates under the brand name Desso. The talks are expected to last several months. Desso, with approximately 1,300 employees, manufactures commercial carpet and artificial sports flooring in The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. Basedin Oss, The Netherlands, the division had annual sales of approximately$313 million in 1999. "An acquisition by CVC would enable Desso to receive the investment it needs to grow and better serve its customers and employees," said ArmstrongDLW AG President and CEO Gerard Glenn. "Armstrong's European flooring business is focused on resilient products, and indeed we would use theproceeds from a sale to grow this core business for us in Europe." Although the Company is currently assessing the accounting for the potential transaction, it is expected that there could be a net loss on disposal of approximately $30-35 million before any tax benefit. CVC Capital Partners, based in London, is a leading European private equity firm that has interests in more than 200 companies throughout Europe with a total value of $30 billion. Additionally, Armstrong Holdings, whose operating unit, Armstrong World Industries, Inc., filed for Chapter 11 protection in December to resolve its asbestos liability, reported that it would disclose its financial results for2000 in its 10-K report to the SEC in late March. Although the financial reports are not yet available, Chairman and CEO Michael D. Lockhart said that fourth quarter 2000 performance was negatively impacted by a decline in sales and profits as a result of the continued slowdown in the economy, and higher raw material and energy costs. For 2001, Lockhart said he expected economic conditions not to improve and that Armstrong plans on revenues relatively flat versus 2000 and operating income, excluding the effects of asbestos and reorganization charges, to decline from 2000 levels. These materials contain forward-looking statements within the meaning ofthe Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements provide the company's expectations or forecasts of future events. Actual results could differ materially as a result of known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors, including: the outcome of Armstrong World Industries Inc.'s ("AWI") Chapter 11 case; the company's ability to maintain financial liquidity; AWI's asbestos-related and any other litigation;variations in raw material and energy costs and the company's success inachieving manufacturing efficiencies and price increases; the company's success in introducing new products; product and price competition caused by factors such as worldwide excess industry capacity; interest, foreign exchange and effective tax rates; success in achieving integration of and synergies from the company's acquisitions; greater than expected working capital requirements; business combinations among competitors and suppliers; the strength of domestic and foreign end-use markets and improved efficiencies inthe European flooring market; effects on international operations from changes in intellectual property protection and trade regulations; and other risks,uncertainties and factors disclosed in the company's and AWI's most recent reports on Forms10-K, 10-Q and 8-K filed with the SEC. The company undertakes no obligationto update any forward-looking statement. Armstrong Holdings, Inc. is a global leader in the design, innovation and manufacture of floors and ceilings. Based in Lancaster, PA, Armstrong has approximately 15,000 employees worldwide. In 1999, Armstrong's net sale stotaled more than $3.4 billion. SOURCE Armstrong Holdings, Inc.Web Site: http://www.armstrong.com Copyright 2001 PR Newswire