WEST NYACK, NY -- January 14, 2000--General Bearing Corporation (Nasdaq: GNRL), NN Ball & Roller, Inc. (Nasdaq: NNBR), and Jiangsu Lixing Steel Ball Factory (Group) today announced the addition of NN Ball & Roller as a partner in its newly established joint venture company to manufacture steel balls and rollers in Rugao City, Jiangsu Province, China. The new venture, Jiangsu General Ball & Roller Company, Ltd. will produce high precision steel balls and rollers serving the worldwide bearing industry. The new company will supply both Chinese domestic and international customers.
General Bearing and NN Ball & Roller will equally share a 60% interest in the joint venture company through their respective ownership in a separately established holding company. General Bearing and NN will collectively contribute $6 million in cash in exchange for the 60% interest in the joint venture company. The remaining 40% of the joint venture will be owned by Jiangsu Steel Ball, a Chinese company, which will contribute its ball operations located in Rugao City.
General Bearing President, David L. Gussack, said, "We are excited to be partnering with NN which has an excellent reputation for expertise in marketing and manufacturing of precision steel balls and rollers. Their expertise coupled with General Bearing's years of experience operating in China will enable Jiangsu General Ball & Roller to build upon its leading position in the Chinese market and emerge as a world class component supplier."
Roderick R. Baty, President and Chief Executive Officer of NN Ball & Roller, stated, "We are delighted to have the unique opportunity to partner with both General Bearing Corporation and Jiangsu Steel Ball Company, companies that have in-depth experience operating in China. Through its four joint venture companies and wholly owned Quality Center, General Bearing has been manufacturing a wide variety of bearing components and products in China for over 15 years. Jiangsu Steel Ball has been operating for over 10 years and supplies product under the 'Li Xing' trademark. Jiangsu Steel Ball is the largest independent ball producer in China with an estimated 10% share of the Chinese market. Total sales in 1999 were U.S. $25 million with exports representing 50% of total revenues."
Mr. Baty went on to say, "Strategically, this new venture enables us to expand our global manufacturing reach, broaden our product offerings, and establish a presence in the rapidly growing Asian marketplace."
Mr. Shi Xiang Gui, General Manager of Jiangsu Steel Ball, said, "This joint venture is an excellent opportunity for us to strengthen our leadership position in the domestic Chinese market and take advantage of the tremendous opportunity to expand our export business. We look forward to working closely with the management of General Bearing and NN as we implement our growth strategies."
A five-member Board of Directors comprised of senior management from General Bearing Corporation, NN Ball & Roller, and Jiangsu itself, will oversee the joint venture's operations.
A principal agreement is in place and the transaction is expected to be completed by the end of January 2000.
General Bearing, headquartered in West Nyack, New York, manufactures, sources, assembles, and distributes a variety of bearing components and products. The Company manufactures ball bearings, tapered roller bearings, spherical roller bearings, and cylindrical roller bearings. Under "The General" and the "Hyatt" trademarks, the Company supplies original equipment manufacturers (OEM) in the automobile, truck/trailer, railcar, office equipment, machinery and appliance industries, as well as the industrial aftermarket.
NN Ball & Roller, Inc. is an independent manufacturer and supplier of high quality, precision steel balls and rollers to both domestic and international anti-friction bearing manufacturers. Precision steel balls and rollers are critical moving parts of anti-friction bearings used in a wide variety of automotive, industrial and other applications. Through its wholly owned U.S. subsidiary, Industrial Molding Corporation, it also manufacturers a full line of precision injection molded components serving the bearing, automotive, instrumentation, fiber optic and consumer hardware markets.
"Safe Harbor" statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This press release contains forward looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the impact of competitive products, product demand and market acceptance risks, reliance on key strategic alliances, fluctuations in operating results and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These risks could cause the Company's actual results for the current FY and beyond to differ materially from those expressed in any forward looking statements made by, or on behalf of, the company.