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West Pharmaceutical Services Concludes Strategic Review

LIONVILLE, Pa., May 1 /PRNewswire/ -- West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE: WST) today announced the conclusion of its review of strategic alternatives which it was conducting with the assistance of its financial advisor UBS Warburg LLC. The Board of Directors concluded that there is a growing market for pharmaceutical dispensing and delivery systems, that the Company has an excellent pipeline of new products and services, and that the Company is a market leader in providing technologies that support the dispensing and delivery of drugs. As a consequence, the Board determined that for the future the Company should concentrate its resources on providing products and services that enhance the effective delivery of pharmaceuticals.

As part of its ongoing efforts to improve overall operating efficiencies, the Board also approved an organization plan which will result in an approximate 3% reduction in the global salaried workforce. The reduction, expected to be implemented within the next three months, will result in a net charge of approximately $2.6 million, or $0.18 per share, covering severance and related benefits, in the second quarter. The Company expects that annualized savings from the changes in the organization will be approximately equal to the charge.

In addition, the Board of Directors has elected Donald E. Morel, Jr. Ph.D. as President and Chief Operating Officer of West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. Dr. Morel joined the Company in 1992 as Director of Research and Development. Since then, he has held increasingly important responsibilities, including Group President of Device Product Development and most recently Division President, Drug Delivery Systems. Dr. Morel, 43, is a graduate of Lafayette College and received his M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University.

William G. Little, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Having concluded our strategic review, management believes that West is well-positioned in growth markets. We have the technologies to capitalize on those markets and we have clearly identified programs to further improve our operational efficiencies. We further believe that effective execution of our strategy will result in appropriate returns for our shareholders. Dr. Morel is uniquely qualified to lead and direct our Company's operations and implement the Company's strategy."

Mr. Little added, "Based on current indicators, and excluding the charge related to the new organization plan, we expect that 2001 quarterly results from operations will continue to show year-over-year increases."

West Pharmaceutical Services applies value-added technologies to the process of bringing new drug therapies and healthcare products to global markets. West's technologies include the design and manufacture of packaging components for pharmaceutical, healthcare and consumer products; research and development of drug delivery systems; contract laboratory services; clinical services; and other services that support the manufacturing, filling, and packaging of pharmaceutical and healthcare products. For more information, visit the West Pharmaceutical Services website at http://www.westpharma.com.

Certain statements contained in this Press Release that are not historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words "estimate," "expect," "intend," "believe" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to (1) sales demand, (2) the timing and success of customers' projects, (3) competitive pressures, (4) the strength or weakness of the U.S. dollars, (5) inflation and (6) the cost of raw materials. The Company does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.

For additional information regarding these and other risks and uncertainties associated with the Company's business, reference is made to the Company's reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. SOURCE West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.