Disposal of Experian’s US Outsourcing business

Experian, the global business solutions company owned by GUS plc, today announces that it has sold its US Outsourcing activities to a management group backed by Sterling Capital Partners, LP, a private equity firm. Experian will receive total proceeds amounting to $28m, of which $20m is receivable in cash and the balance in loan notes.

The Outsourcing business comprises one of the largest print and mail operations in the United States, with around 1,400 employees and four lettershop locations around the country. In the year to 31 March 2003, its sales were $87m. The business operated on a single-digit EBIT margin.

GUS expects to incur a loss on disposal against book value of about $10m. In addition, a charge of about $40m will be incurred in respect of goodwill previously written off to reserves when the business was acquired in 1998 as part of the Metromail acquisition.

Don Robert, Chief Executive Officer of Experian North America, said:
“This transaction will better serve the long-term needs of our print and mail clients. We look forward to partnering with the buyers of the business to meet the requirements of our mutual customers through our mutual joint marketing agreements.

“For our Marketing Services business, this allows us to focus on what we do best – information, data management, decision support and analysis. Sales synergies in North America between the Outsourcing business and our other units have been limited. In addition, sales growth and operating margins in this business have been well below those in our other activities.

“We would like to thank the employees of our print and mail operations and we wish them well for the future.”


David Tyler Finance Director 020 7495 0070
Fay Dodds Director of Investor Relations  
Rupert Younger   020 7251 3801
Rollo Head    

GUS announcements are available on its website www.gusplc.com.

Certain statements made in this announcement are forward looking statements. Such statements are based on current expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause