Ceramic Industry

Zemex Terminates Contract for K-T; Imerys Steps In

March 1, 2001
Zemex Corp. formally terminated its contract with Hecla Mining Co. to purchase Hecla's Kentucky-Tennessee Clay Co. subsidiary, giving Imerys the opportunity it had been looking for.

Zemex Corp. has formally terminated its contract with Hecla Mining Co. to purchase Hecla's Kentucky-Tennessee Clay Co. subsidiary, and Imerys has stepped in to seize the opportunity. Zemex had previously notified Hecla that because of a material adverse change in K-T Clay's business, the conditions to Zemex's obligation to purchase K-T Clay had not been satisfied. "We regret that we were forced to take this action," said Richard Lister, president of Zemex. "K-T Clay would be a fine strategic acquisition for us, but the dramatic deterioration in K-T Clay's operating results after the time we agreed to purchase it left us no alternative."

In late February, Imerys signed an agreement with Hecla Mining to purchase K-T Clay. This acquisition which should be completed in early April 2001, would give Imerys a global position on the raw materials for sanitaryware market.