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West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. Announces Corporate Initiatives To Streamline Operations

LIONVILLE, Pa., Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE: WST) today announced that its Board of Directors approved corporate initiatives designed to streamline operations and improve efficiencies. The Company stated that these initiatives are independent of UBS Warburg's continuing evaluation of strategic alternatives.

As part of the plan, the Company will close a contract packaging facility and a plastic device manufacturing plant in Puerto Rico and its Site Management office ("SMO") in Cleveland, Ohio during the first half of 2001. The Company also will dispose of assets related to its sterile-fill operation in Lakewood, New Jersey. Finally, personnel reductions will take place at other manufacturing sites to reflect current business conditions. Approximately 4% of the total workforce will be affected by all of these actions.

Severance, asset write-offs and dispositions, and other cash costs in connection with these initiatives are expected to result in a charge of $16.1 million, or $1.11 per share, in the fourth quarter.

The Company stated that the SMO business will be integrated with another related service business located in Indianapolis, Indiana, while customers served by the two Puerto Rico facilities will be served to the extent possible from other company locations.

William G. Little, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "As previously announced, the company has engaged UBS Warburg to assist in evaluating strategic alternatives and identifying opportunities for enhancing shareholder value. This process is ongoing. In the meantime, these steps are being taken to streamline overall operations, improve profitability and focus management and capital resources."

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. dollar, (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.

CONTACT: Stephen M. Heumann, Vice President and Treasurer of West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc., 610-594-3346; or Investor Relations - Robert P. Jones or Theresa Vogt, or Press - Stacey Nield, all of Morgen-Walke Associates, 212-850-5600, for West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc./