Microban Products Company (MPC), a leading provider of antibacterial technology, announced today that the company has formed an alliance with IMI Cornelius Inc., the world's leading producer of beverage dispensing equipment.

As a result, the partnership will produce the first ice machine with antimicrobial product protection for the international commercial market.

"The alliance allows us to safely and successfully incorporate components of our ice makers with revolutionary protection against the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew that can cause odors and stains, providing an extra benefit for our customers in the commercial industry," said Michael Madsen, vice president marketing of IMI Cornelius, Inc.

IMI Cornelius will incorporate Microban's antimicrobial technology into all of their ice machines - in the components where ice is made and in the bins where it is stored. The product, which has been registered with the EPA and approved by the National Sanitation Foundation, will be introduced at the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago, May 20-23, 2000.

Microban Products Company President Gary Kroll noted, "We're especially excited as this alliance is groundbreaking within the commercial industry, and we're hopeful that it will lead to new opportunities for both companies."

Microban antimicrobial product protection was developed to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew that can cause odors and stains in products, thus keeping products cleaner between cleanings (See Editor's Note). It is this built-in antimicrobial technology that affords MPC product partners like IMI Cornelius Inc. with a competitive advantage that gives them a unique position in the commercial marketplace.

Microban Products Company has successfully incorporated its antimicrobial technology into a variety of commercial applications. Various consumer products for home and bath include Aqua Glass® bathtubs and shower enclosures, Lucite® acrylic for baths and spas, and Farberware® kitchen utensils. Microban can also be found in various medical and commercial applications. Some of the more well-known consumer products that contain Microban include California Innovations® coolers, Holmes® humidifiers, and Fruit of the Loom® socks.

IMI Cornelius, a division of Britain-based IMI plc, is the world's leading supplier of beverage dispensing equipment. The company manufactures and markets a full line of post-mix and pre-mix dispensing systems, ice machines, juice and tea dispensers, frozen carbonated beverage machines, hot beverage dispensing systems, beer dispensers and accessories. IMI Cornelius has manufacturing and sales offices in over 30 countries on five continents and employs over 3,000 people worldwide. For more information about IMI Cornelius Inc., visit www.cornelius.com or 1-800-238-3600.

Microban Products Company is dedicated to developing technology that safely and effectively provides built-in protection for a variety of end products from the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew that cause odors, stains and product degradation. A privately held company, Microban Products Company is headquartered near Charlotte, N.C., with their international headquarters in New York City and operations in Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom and Thailand. For more information about Microban protection, visit www.microban.com or call (704) 875-0806.