Pitney Bowes to Acquire Bell & Howell International Mail and Messaging Technologies
Friday, April 20, 2001
STAMFORD, CONN., April 18, 2001 - Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE:PBI) has entered an agreement to acquire Bell & Howell's International Mail and Messaging Technologies (MMT) business in Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia, for $51 million in cash. The parties expect the transaction to close sometime in the second quarter of 2001, subject to governmental approval as well as works council consultations. London-based Bell & Howell International MMT markets and services high-end mail processing, sorting and service-related products through a network of distributors and direct operations with reported revenues of $84 million in 2000. The acquisition provides Pitney Bowes with critical mass in key international markets, a variety of complementary products and services, and a platform for accelerated global growth in high-volume, high-value strategic mail and document management. "Acquiring Bell & Howell's International MMT business forwards our mission to provide innovative products and services that respond to the fast changing needs of global customers," said Michael J. Critelli, chairman and CEO of Pitney Bowes. "It also supports our strategic goal of expanding our overall presence and market share in non-U.S. markets. With this acquisition we expand the opportunity for our leading edge document management products, build critical mass in areas of great opportunity such as the German, French and Japanese markets, and significantly enhance our overall breadth of coverage (including direct sales and service) in growth areas such as Belgium and the Netherlands." The two companies are a good strategic fit. Adding Bell & Howell's International MMT development and manufacturing functions and broad international sales and service coverage to the existing capabilities of Pitney Bowes Document Messaging Technologies (DMT) group and seeking logical infrastructure synergies with Pitney Bowes Global Mailing organization creates a broadly capable, highly competitive global organization. "Brian Baxendale (president, Pitney Bowes DMT), Patrick Keddy (president, Global Mailing, Europe/Africa/Middle East) and their organizations are enthusiastic about this opportunity and convinced that it is a win for our customers and shareholders alike, " Mr. Critelli commented. Bell & Howell's International MMT distribution network includes operations in the U.K., Germany, Japan, France, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Singapore and Switzerland as well as independent dealers in other markets. More than 300 sales and service personnel provide highly skilled customer support and deliver superior service response time for the company's 3,000 plus high-end 'document factory' mailers and mail house customers. The company's Freidberg, Germany-based manufacturing and engineering organization enhance the customer value-proposition as well. "Having manufacturing capabilities in closer proximity to our customers is key to our competitive market position and gives us the additional flexibility to respond to European and Asian customers," said Mr. Critelli. Pitney Bowes Document Messaging Technologies (DMT) today enjoys double digit growth in both revenue and operating profit. Though its operations have been predominantly centered in North-America, Pitney Bowes DMT leads the industry in innovative "document factory" and document management applications solutions. The company has enjoyed recent notable success in Europe, providing its Digital Document Delivery (D3) solution for two large posts and a major bank to support Web-based document delivery.