Immediate Release Thursday December 26th 1996

Press Release

Costain Closing Down Sale - everything must go

Photo-opportunity

The Costain Independent Shareholders Association (CISA), a group representing small independent investors, is holding 'The Costain Closing Down Sale' outside the Extraordinary General Meeting of Costain on December 27th. Many of Costain's assets and liabilities will be sold at auction for knock down prices. Proceeds from the sale will go to the 'Crisis at Costain' Christmas Appeal, for the welfare of Costain's employees and its subcontractors as the company teeters on the edge of administration.

Amongst the items for sale are US Coal - Costain's coal subsidiary represented by a bag of Costain's coal[1], Spitialfields - represented by a brick[2],Costains Channel Tunnel Liabilities represented by something we made earlier from the inside of a loo roll[3], The Costain's Chief Executives Golden Handshake represented by a golden hand - shaking[4] and The Newbury Bypass Construction Contract represented by a flattened snail - made of cardboard. All items will be labelled to avoid confusion.

Costain will be holding a further Extraordinary General Meeting on January 6th 1997 to seek approval for the re-issue of shares and Costains restructuring. CISA representatives are expected to attend.

Mr Alisdair Stark, Chairman of the Costain Independent Shareholders Association said

"Costain's Chief executive is leaving and Costain is selling up. We recommend that Costain shareholders minimise their financial exposure. Take your money and run - while you still can"

He added

"Given Costains appalling financial record, the wise investor is he who has but a single share"[5]

ENDS

Editors Notes

Costain EGM starts at 10.00 a.m. at The London Arena, Limehouse, London, E14 9TH.

The Crisis at Costain Closing Down Sale starts 9.30 a.m. outside the London Arena entrance.

For further information and on site press liaison call 0956 187 237 or page 01523 123084

[1] In June of this year a deal with Longhro to sell US Coal for a reported 50 m collapsed. Resolution 1 of the EGM is the sale of US coal to Rencoal for 28.6 m,

[2] Resolution 2 of the EGM is the sale of Costains share in Spitalfields for 23 m to Metacorp. MetaCorp are owned by Intria which has a 40% holding in Costains.

[3] Costain has made no allowance for liabilities arising from legal action by Eurotunnel against TML. Eurotunnel is claiming damages of one billion pounds. Costain is a significant TML partner.

[4] Alan Lovell, Costains chief executive for the past year has resigned and is planning to leave Costain in January. He is reported be receiving a 350,000 golden handshake. Lovell was previously appointed Chief Executive of the Conder Group five months before it went into receivership.

[5] From quote by Mark McCaig, CISA member and playwrite - author of 'The Bypass Saga'