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Fluor Sells Environmental Cleanup Unit

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October 29, 1998|JOHN O'DELL | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Fluor Corp. said Wednesday that its Fluor Daniel operating unit has agreed to sell its environmental cleanup subsidiary for $36.3 million as part of an ongoing streamlining effort.

Irvine-based Fluor acquired its controlling stake in the environmental company, Groundwater Technology Inc., less than 30 months ago, paying $33.4 million at the time.

The company, now called Fluor Daniel GTI, specializes in cleaning up contaminated soil, water and air supplies for commercial customers.

The deal calls for Texas-based IT Group to pay $8.25 a share for Fluor Daniel GTI. The purchase includes the 4.4 million shares--representing a 52% stake--owned by Fluor Daniel.

Word of the sale sent Fluor Daniel GTI's stock spiraling in the Nasdaq market. The shares gained 37%, or $2.19, to close at $8.06. Fluor stock rose 13 cents to $38,50 on the New York Stock Exchange, while IT Group's shares gained $1 to close at $8.75, also in Big Board trading.

A Fluor spokeswoman said the sale of the Massachusetts subsidiary will not have a material impact on Fluor Corp.'s earnings.

Fluor will continue to be a major player in the environmental industry because of its contracts with the federal Department of Energy to manage cleanup efforts at several large nuclear weapons processing plants.

Fluor and IT Group also signed a marketing agreement under which Fluor has agreed to use IT as its first-choice contractor for environmental cleanup work.

Proceeds from the sale will be used to help reduce Fluor's short-term debt, the company said.

Separately, Fluor Daniel said Wednesday it has been awarded a contract to design and build a $147-million paperboard mill in Lawton, Okla., for Republic Paperboard Co. The plant is expected to produce 220,000 tons of lightweight paperboard a year.

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