Clarke announces sale of Sure-Gro


HALIFAX, April 8 /CNW/ - Clarke Inc. ("Clarke" or the "Company", TSX-CKI, TSX-CKI.DB, TSX-CKI.DB.A) announced today that Sure-Gro Holdings Inc. has reached a definitive agreement to sell its operating subsidiary, Sure-Gro Inc. ("Sure-Gro") to a strategic buyer. Sure-Gro is a leading supplier in the Canadian Home & Garden industry across a broad range of product categories including fertilizer, grass seed, controls, horticulture and ice melt, under brand names such as CIL, Golfgreen, Nature Mix, Green Earth, Wilson and Alaskan Ice Melter. The transaction is expected to close on Friday April 9.

Total proceeds to Clarke are expected to consist of approximately $10.4 million in cash and $3.1 million in 8% notes maturing in October 2012. Clarke will also retain ownership of certain assets, including real estate, with an estimated market value to Clarke of approximately $0.8 million. Clarke has a total investment in Sure Gro Holdings Inc. of approximately $5.8 million, through a combination of debt and equity.

Rob Normandeau, President of Clarke, commented "Sure-Gro has been a tremendous investment for Clarke that provided our team with the opportunity to be directly involved in the successful turnaround of a business with meaningful market position and scale. I would like to recognize Sure-Gro management and our equity partner, Roycap Merchant Banking Group, for their hard work and dedication. We wish the new owners and all of the employees the best as they continue with the business."

About Clarke

Halifax-based Clarke Inc. invests in undervalued businesses and participates actively where necessary to enhance performance and increase return. Clarke's securities trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (CKI, CKI.DB; CKI.DB.A); for more information about Clarke Inc., please visit our website at

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain or refer to certain forward-looking statements relating, but not limited to, Clarke's expectations, intentions, plans and beliefs with respect to Clarke. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or equivalents or variations, including negative variations, of such words and phrases, or state that certain actions, events or results, "may", "could", "would", "should", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding: the trading price of the Common Shares not fully reflecting the value of the Company's business and future prospects and the repurchase of the Common Shares not being expected to preclude the company form pursuing its foreseeable business opportunities.

Forward-looking statements rely on certain underlying assumptions that, if not realized, can result in such forward-looking statements not being achieved. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause the actual results of Clarke to be materially different from the historical results or from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Risks and uncertainties include, among others, the Company's investment strategy, legal and regulatory risks, general market risk, potential lack of diversification in the Company's investments, and interest rates and foreign currency fluctuations. Although Clarke has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results or cause actions, events or results not to be estimated or intended, there can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Other than as required by applicable Canadian securities laws, Clarke does not update or revise any such forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this document or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

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SOURCE Clarke Inc.

For further information: For further information: Matthew Towns, Vice-President, Research & Risk Management, Clarke Inc., (902) 442-3420, Fax: (902) 442-0187

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