The Austin Company to Sell Core Operating Assets to Kajima USA, Inc.

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     Kajima plans to operate acquired assets under the Austin name

    CLEVELAND, Dec. 28 -The Austin Company, an international firm offering a comprehensive portfolio of in-house architectural, engineering, design-build and construction management services, announced today that it has accepted a bid submitted by Kajima USA, Inc., a subsidiary of Kajima Corporation of Japan, for the purchase of Austin's core U.S. assets. An affiliate of Kajima USA, Inc. has agreed to acquire the core Austin assets for a combination of cash and assumed liabilities.

    The asset sale, which was conditionally approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court at a hearing conducted on December 22, 2005, is expected to close in the near future.

    With over 160 years of experience and over 13,000 employees around the world, the Kajima family of companies is a global leader in the planning, design, and construction industries and is consistently ranked by Engineering News Record among the top contractors in the world.

    "This is a very positive and strategic move for Kajima USA," said Keisuke "KC" Koshijima, president and chief executive officer of Kajima USA. "While we plan to operate the Austin assets to be acquired with a high degree of autonomy and fully expect these businesses to prosper, we also hope to achieve considerable synergies with other Kajima USA companies."

    Austin will continue normal operations pending completion of the sale. The core assets to be acquired by Kajima include assets associated with Austin's Cleveland, Atlanta and Irvine, CA operating units. Following the closing of the sale, Kajima plans to operate the businesses under the Austin name.

    Patrick B. Flanagan, Austin's president and chief operating officer, said, "This marks the beginning of an exciting chapter in Austin's long history. Kajima is a global design and construction giant with nearly 45 years of experience operating in the United States. With the resources of Kajima USA and the worldwide Kajima organization, Austin will be able to greatly expand the breadth and depth of the solutions we can offer to the market. We are excited about the opportunity to contribute to such an outstanding and well- respected organization."

    Flanagan added, "We are also pleased to have quickly resolved some of the issues related to our Chapter 11. As we enter a new year, we will be able to devote our full energies to meeting the needs of clients and the marketplace."

    Austin, and certain of its affiliates, voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 protection on October 14, 2005, as a result of the costs and litigation expense associated with a contract dispute with a client of one of its subsidiaries. At that time, Austin announced that it had entered into an asset purchase agreement with another firm. In compliance with Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code, qualifying bidders then had an opportunity to submit higher or better offers for Austin's assets through a court-supervised competitive bidding process. Austin chose Kajima as the winning bidder after an auction concluded on December 19, 2005, pursuant to the sales procedures approved by the Court. Proceeds from the sale and Debtors' remaining assets and operations will be distributed pursuant to further orders of the Court.

    About The Austin Company

    The Austin Company is an international firm offering in-house architectural, engineering, design-build and construction management services. Austin's primary markets include facilities for both print and broadcast media, food & beverage, aerospace and defense, manufacturing, mission critical, laboratories, life sciences, and distribution. In addition to services for the built environment, Austin offers value-added strategic planning services including site location, transportation/distribution consulting, facility/process audits and more. Austin is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, with offices in Atlanta, Irvine and London UK.

    About Kajima and Kajima USA

    With over 160 years of experience and over 13,000 employees around the world, Kajima Corporation is a global leader in the design, construction and real estate development industries. Traded publicly on the Tokyo and London exchanges, Kajima reported over $16 billion in revenues in 2004 and was ranked by Engineering News Record as the eighth largest contractor in the world based on construction volume. When Kajima USA, a principal subsidiary of Kajima Corporation, started its operations in 1964, its goal was to become a full- service design/build provider for Japanese clients in the United States. Since then, Kajima has expanded that goal with a group of U.S. companies that span the real estate development, design and construction industries.

    Kajima USA companies include Kajima Associates, Inc., a design and engineering services company; Kajima Construction Services, a design-build and construction services company; Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company, Inc., a major general contractor in Hawaii; KUD International, LLC, a fee developer/program manager for large scale urban projects; Industrial Developments International, Inc., one of top five industrial developers in the US; Commercial Developments International, Inc., a developer of commercial properties; and HOK, in which Kajima holds an interest.
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