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December 4, 2008

Boskalis drops plan to acquire Smit

Dredging and maritime infrastructure giant Boskalis Westminster nv (AMS:BOS) said today that it has dropped its plans to make a public offer for all the issued and outstanding ordinary shares in the issued share capital of Smit Internationale nv (AMS:SMIT).

"Over the past couple of months we have had discussions with Smit, both at the level of the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board," said Peter Berdowski, CEO of Boskalis. "In these meetings various Smit break-up scenarios were suggested and discussed by both parties."

"Unfortunately,"continued Mr. Berkowski, "we were not able to reach a transaction structure that is supported and recommended by the Board of Management and Supervisory Board of Smit."

"In view of the changed conditions in the financial markets and the market in general, we believe it is irresponsible to pursue the offer without support and cooperation from the Board of Management and Supervisory Board of Smit," he concluded.

In response to the Boskalis announcement the Smit Executive Board and Supervisory Board of Smit said they had had frequent contact with shareholders, joint venture partners and other parties regarding the intended offer. Boskalis had acquired a stake of more than 20% in Smit and. "in view of a imminent stalemate," preliminary discussions were held between Members of the Executive and Supervisory Boards of Smit and Boskalis to investigate whether agreement could be reached on a transaction that would be in the interests of the company and its stakeholders and on financial terms that would fairly reflect the value of Smit. The parties had not managed to reach an agreement.

Ben Vree, CEO of Smit said: "Smit will continue its successful strategy of integrated maritime services, making optimal use of synergies between our divisions Harbor Towage, Terminals, Salvage and Transport & Heavy Lift. Today's announcement signals the end of a period of uncertainty for our company, our joint-venture partners and our employees. Our business shows a positive development for the second half of this year and our investment program is at full speed. We are back to business as usual and have all sails set!"


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