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H.B. Fuller Selling Stake In Auto Venture

Paint and specialty chemical maker sells its stake in the joint venture to partner EMS Chemie Holding AG for $80 million.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Paint and specialty chemical maker H.B. Fuller Co. said Tuesday it plans to sell its stake in an automotive joint venture to partner EMS Chemie Holding AG for $80 million.
The sale allows H.B. Fuller to concentrate its efforts on providing ''integrated solutions and value-added offerings'' in its core business areas, the company said.
''By focusing on the most attractive areas where we have both market leadership and generate the highest return on gross investment (ROGI), we are better positioning the company to capitalize on more strategic growth opportunities in the future,'' Michele Volpi, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
H.B. Fuller entered the venture, known as EFTEC, with EMS Chemie a decade ago. The business makes bonding, coating and sealing products for automakers.
The business's U.S. operations generated $74.5 million in revenue but recorded a loss of $3.4 million over the last 12 months. H.B. Fuller's minority interest in income was $400,000 during that period, the company said.
The European and Asian parts of the venture earned $6.2 million from equity investments.
The company expects to book a one-time gain of $10 million to $13 million, before tax, as a result of the sale.
In addition, the company expects the sale will lower 2008 earnings by 3 to 5 cents per share because of lingering corporate costs, lost earnings and the timing of reinvesting proceeds from the sale.
The sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.
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