July 18, 2005 05:39 ET

FIMALAC Press release

Paris -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 18, 2005 -- The Board of Directors of FIMALAC met on 18 July 2005 to examine a firm and irrevocable offer received from the American group STANLEY WORKS to acquire FACOM TOOLS on the basis of an enterprise value of E410m.

The Board of Directors agreed unanimously that this offer would allow FIMALAC, as already announced, to focus its efforts on developing credit rating with FITCH RATINGS and quantitative risk measurement with ALGORITHMICS, with FITCH GROUP as a pivot company. The Board also said, unanimously, that they are very pleased that Facom Tools would be part of a worldwide industrial group.

The Board decided to grant STANLEY WORKS a period of exclusivity to allow FIMALAC to undertake a thorough examination of this offer, which will have to be submitted to employee representative bodies and the national competition authorities.

The Board of Directors was also informed of negotiations in progress with several potential buyers with a view to disposal of BEISSBARTH (garage equipment). It authorised the Chairman to conduct these negotiations to a successful conclusion under the best possible conditions.

Finally, the Board of Directors was informed about the activity of the group's subsidiaries over the first half of 2005 and has taken note of the provisional data concerning their first-half revenues. The definitive figures will be published in the next few days.

For FITCH RATINGS, the excellent performance posted in the first quarter (+ 16.6% in $) gathered pace in the second quarter, leading to growth of 18.9% in H1 2005 revenues expressed in dollars. Expressed in euros, at constant structure and exchange rates, revenues were up 17.9%. In the field of risk management, H1 revenues are expected to weigh in at around $44m, in line with the forecasts made for the full year, with the activities of ALGORITHMICS, acquired in January 2005, being consolidated for only 5 months.

As concerns FACOM TOOLS, H1 revenues are expected to be up 0.6% like-for-like, in line with the budget.

As concerns BEISSBARTH, H1 revenues are expected to be down 2.5% like-for-like, also in line with the budget.

All in all, the group as a whole should post H1 2005 revenues of E516.6m versus E481.8m for H1 2004, i.e. growth of 7.2% on a published basis and 6.9% like-for-like, i.e. at constant structure and exchange rates.

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