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ION`s ann: Increase shareholding in Argent Metals Tech Ltd

Document date:  Thu 18 Oct 2001
Published:  Thu 18 Oct 2001 10:46:43
Document No:  182516
Document part:  A
Market Flag:  N
Classification:  Other

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP       2001-10-18  ASX-SIGNAL-G

HOMEX - Melbourne                                                     

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ION Limited (ASX:ION) is pleased to announce that it has reached
agreement with the ANZ Banking Group (New Zealand) Limited - Private
Equity Division to purchase the ANZ's holding of 23.75% in the equity
of AMT. This agreement is subject to ION procuring the approval of
the Ford Motor Company. The Managing Director of ION, Mr G L
Salthouse has been in negotiation with the Ford Motor Company
regarding moving to 100% ownership of AMT. Mr Salthouse will visit
Ford at their headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan in the week
commencing 22 October 2001 with a view to concluding this
transaction.

AMT is a manufacturer of automotive alloy wheels and structural
components. It is located in Manauku, a suburb of Auckland, New
Zealand. The plant has a capacity of 1.8 million wheels per annum and
has strong enduring contracts to supply the Ford Motor Company. The
plant is state-of-the-art and is world competitive in terms of
product quality and cost. The management is Ford trained and operates
a disciplined motivated workforce of approximately 570 employees. AMT
has strong synergy with Castalloy Limited, the ION owned Adelaide
based manufacturer of Harley-Davidson alloy wheels and components. It
also manufactures for General Motors Holden overhead cylinders, oil
pans, inlet manifolds and other associated light weight alloy engine
components.

In addition, ION is the owner of Cootes Transport Group, specialist
distributor of petroleum, oil, gas, bitumen and other hazardous
chemicals.

ION has built a solid foundation for future growth.

For further information, please contact:

G Salthouse                     R Nagul
MANAGING DIRECTOR               CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER