Impress Metal Packaging Holdings B.V. ("Impress"), a world leader in the metal packaging industry, today announced that it has finalized the acquisition on August 13, 2000, of the H. J. Heinz Company (NYSE: HNZ) North American can-making assets. Four of the operations are located within Heinz's food processing plants in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania; Terminal Island, California; American Samoa; and Puerto Rico. One is a stand-alone end (lid)-making and coated sheet facility in Weirton, West Virginia. Together these five plants employ approximately 920 people.

In addition, as announced in a press release on June 19, Impress has entered into an initial 10-year Supply Agreement for all Heinz metal food can requirements at its StarKist Seafood and Heinz Pet Products facilities throughout North America.

Impress and Heinz began their successful alliance in Europe in 1999, when Impress was awarded a sole supplier contract for Heinz Seafood canneries in France, Portugal and the Seychelles. To reduce freight and inventory costs, Impress constructed a wall-to-wall facility in the Seychelles to produce half-pound tuna cans. In January 2000, to support Heinz's drive to improve product convenience, Impress entered in a multiyear contract with Heinz Europe in the Grocery market. Under that agreement, Impress is annually supplying two billion ends, including one billion of the newly introduced, user friendly ring pull Easy Open lids.

"The partnership we are forming with Heinz represents a significant advance for both of our companies," commented Dominique Damon, Chief Executive of Impress. "It will support our joint efforts to drive growth of Heinz's leading brands through continued reliable and cost-effective production, and greater access to advanced packaging technologies, aided by Impress' innovative can styles. We are proud to welcome Heinz's can-making employees into the Impress family. Their experience and skill will be critical for our continued growth and success as a premier metal packaging supplier."

Nick Ince, formerly Industrial Project Manager based at Impress' R&D center, assumes overall operational responsibility for the five can-making facilities and is named Vice President, Operations, based at Impress' U.S. subsidiary, Impress USA, Inc., which has its offices at Carnegie Office Park #1, Suite 200, 600 N. Ball Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA. Dominique Damon explained, "This appointment recognizes not only Nick Ince's tremendous operational, product and development experience, but also his outstanding efforts in promoting and developing this key customer alliance, which puts into practice the principles of the Impress Business Model." Nick Ince, 39, has over fifteen years' experience in the metal packaging industry, he is a British national and he holds a BSc in Metallurgy and an MBA.

Impress Metal Packaging Holdings B.V. was created in May 1997 by Doughty Hanson & Co in a simultaneous LBO, merger and carve-out, at the time the largest transaction of its kind the industry had seen. Doughty Hanson owns approximately 89% of Impress, and has fully supported the recent acquisitions of French company Ferembal and the Heinz facilities. Impress is a world leader in the metal packaging industry and developing innovative steel and aluminum packaging solutions that provide can appeal and convenience to chosen selected markets for the food and decorative and protective finishes markets. Through alliances built with its customers, Impress provides unique blueprints for design-to-delivery solutions that optimize supply chain management, improve cost efficiencies and increase value. Together with the acquisition of Ferembal in February, this transaction leads to total Impress proforma sales for year 2000 of approximately $1.4 billion, 45% higher than 1999 sales. Impress employs over 8000 people in 44 plants throughout 15 countries in Europe, the USA, Japan, and the Seychelles.