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Balzers Acquires Gold Star Coatings

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March 20, 2006—Balzers Inc. announced a cooperaion agreement to take over the PVD coating operations of Gold Star Coatings, a subsidiary of the industrial tooling group Star Cutter Co.

According to the company's press release, the transaction will be completed on April 30, 2006. Balzers will assume the function of coating partner for the tool re-sharpening service centers operated by Star and SU and sold through Star SU in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. In addition, Balzers will also open an in-house coaitng center in the gear tool manufacturing operation of Star Cutter Co. in East Tawas, MI.

The existing coating center of Gold Star Coatings in Richmond, IN will be expanded to become a significant regional site for Balzers. The activities of Gold Star's West Branch, MI facility will be integrated into three existing Balzers coating centers in Michigan. In the future, Balzers will have a network of 14 sites in the U.S. and Canada for contract coating as well as three in-house coating centers located on customer premises.

Through its collaboration with Balzers, Star Cutter will have an efficient coating facility as well as access to modern coatings. The in-house coating center will simplify the work processes and reduce logistics costs.