Following the approval by the European Commission, Compagnie PLASTIC OMNIUM and SOLVAY S.A. have just received the approval from the United States Federal Trade Commission to create a joint 50/50 owned company in the automotive fuel systems sector.

The company, to be named INERGY AUTOMOTIVE SYSTEMS, will launch operations in September 2000. It will reach sales of EUR 1 billion in 2001 and employ 3,300 associates.

As a world leader, it will operate 30 facilities in 15 countries. The customer list of the new company will include: BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Daewoo, General Motors, Hyundai-Kia, Peugeot Citroen, Porsche, Renault-Nissan, Volkswagen.

The board and the management of INERGY AUTOMOTIVE SYSTEMS will be set up with equal representation of PLASTIC OMNIUM and SOLVAY SA. The new company will be headquartered in Paris.

As the automotive industry continues its trend of globalisation, INERGY AUTOMOTIVE SYSTEMS will continue significant growth in the coming years. The company is expected to further enhance its leadership in Western Europe and North America and to strengthen its position in Asia, in South America and in Central Europe.

This operation, as well as the anticipated synergies within the new entity, will allow PLASTIC OMNIUM and SOLVAY to offer -- together -- a better response to the customer expectations in terms of innovation, technical expertise and international development.

SOLVAY is an international pharmaceutical and chemical group headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. It employs about 33,000 people in 50 countries. In 1999 its consolidated sales amounted to EUR 7.9 billion generated by its four sectors of activity sectors: Chemicals, Plastics, Processing and Pharmaceuticals.

PLASTIC OMNIUM, one of the European leaders in plastics processing, has its main headquarter in Levallois (Paris, France) and operates in four core businesses: Automotive Components - Exterior Automotive Components, Fuel Systems -, Services to local communities, Performance Plastics Products and Medical. With operations in 19 countries on four continents, Plastic Omnium employs over 7,000 people. Its consolidated sales amounted to more than EUR 1.3 billion in 1999.