SOURCE: Smith & Nephew PLC

August 18, 2005 09:00 ET

Smith & Nephew PLC announces Divestment of BSN

London, UK -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 18, 2005 --Smith & Nephew and Beiersdorf AG prepare divestment of BSN medical

18 August 2005

Smith & Nephew plc (LSE: SN, NYSE: SNN) has announced today that it is, together with Beiersdorf AG, preparing for the divestment of their joint venture BSN medical.

BSN medical is a global medical device company for professional medical products and was created as a 50/50 joint venture between Beiersdorf and Smith & Nephew in April 2001. BSN medical has developed independently since then and is today among the market leaders in each of its business units. BSN medical is engaged in Orthopaedics, which specialises in bandaging, cast tapes, Plaster of Paris, splinting systems, orthopaedic soft goods, fracture bracing, and thermoplastics; Phlebology, which serves the needs of patients suffering from diseases of the veins; and Wound Care, which specialises in adhesive fixation tapes, compresses, and retention bandages. BSN medical's turnover in 2004 was EUR504m, with operating profits of EUR70m.

The continuation of the business independently from Beiersdorf and Smith & Nephew in 2006 marks the logical next stage in its development. BSN medical is not part of either partner's core business and is entering a new growth-oriented phase. Both partners and the management of BSN medical believe that the business will benefit from a new ownership.

Morgan Stanley has been engaged to advise the partners and manage the divestment.


Smith & Nephew

Investor Relations & Media
Liz Hewitt                                       +44 (0)20 7401 7646
Group Director Corporate Affairs

About us

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business, specialising in Orthopaedics, Endoscopy and Advanced Wound Management products. Smith & Nephew is a global leader in arthroscopy and advanced wound management and is one of the fastest growing global orthopaedics companies.

Smith & Nephew is dedicated to helping improve people's lives. The company prides itself on the strength of its relationships with its surgeons and professional healthcare customers, with whom its name is synonymous with high standards of performance, innovation and trust. The company has over 8,500 employees and operates in 33 countries around the world generating annual sales of GBP1.25 billion.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In particular, statements regarding expected revenue growth and operating margins discussed under "Outlook" are forward-looking statements as are discussions of our product pipeline. These statements, as well as the phrases "aim", "plan", "intend", "anticipate", "well-placed", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "target", "consider" and similar expressions, are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors (including, but not limited to, the outcome of litigation, claims and regulatory approvals) that could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Smith & Nephew, or industry results, to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Please refer to the documents that Smith & Nephew has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including Smith & Nephew's most recent annual report on Form 20F, for a discussion of certain of these factors.

All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to Smith & Nephew as of the date hereof. All written or oral forward-looking statements attributable to Smith & Nephew or any person acting on behalf of Smith & Nephew are expressly qualified in their entirety by the foregoing. Smith & Nephew does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in Smith & Nephew's expectation with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

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