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Carpenter sells ceramic operations for $147 million

Specialty metals maker Carpenter Technology Corp., Wyomissing, today said it agreed to sell its ceramic operations to U.K.-based Morgan Crucible Co. P.L.C., an advanced materials company for $147 million..

Specialty metals maker Carpenter Technology Corp., Wyomissing, today said it agreed to sell its ceramic operations to U.K.-based Morgan Crucible Co. P.L.C., an advanced materials company for $147 million.

Separately, Carpenter announced a new share repurchase program of up to $250 million outstanding common shares, to be funded with available cash.

The sale of Certech and Carpenter Advanced Ceramics reflects Carpenters strategic decision to focus on global markets for high performing specialty alloy products, the company said in a statement.

The deal is expected to close early in 2008. The ceramics operations represent about 5 percent of Carpenters total revenues with combined annual sales of $91 million and operating income of approximately $15 million in fiscal 2007, Carpenter said.

Certech produces complex injection molded ceramic components used in casting of turbine engine blades and vanes for aircraft and power generation applications. It employs 766 workers at seven locations in the U.S., U.K. and Mexico. Carpenter Advanced Ceramics, with 145 employees in the U.S. and Australia, produces technical ceramics, industrial ceramics and high purity alumina and zirconia structural ceramic components for a variety of applications and industries.

Carpenter shares were up $1.70 to $72.76 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.