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Citizen Limited is New Owner of VIO, Will Review Pricing

Friday, July 06, 2001

Press release from the issuing company

7/5/01 - Vio’s future is assured following the sale of the company by BT and Scitex to Citizen Limited on 29th June 2001. Citizen now owns all Vio’s businesses throughout the world, including operations in the UK, France, Japan and the US, and will continue to trade under the very strong Vio brand that has been established in all those territories. Citizen, which has already raised funds to meet Vio’s ongoing capital requirements, also has alliances with key partners on both sides of the Atlantic. Miranda Clegg continues in her role as Managing Director, Sales and Marketing. An integral part of the original management team, Clegg brings a continued understanding of Vio’s service and its clients’ requirements. "I am delighted that, as part of Citizen, Vio has the commercial management and technical expertise to build on the excellent platform Vio has created in the last four years", said Clegg. "Vio’s core competence has always been the reliable, responsive management of collaborative digital workflows throughout the printing and publishing industry, and this has not changed. We have retained many of the sales and operational staff that are key to the success of the business; I can’t tell you how excited we all are to be part of this." Citizen is jointly owned by a management team of media and technology specialists. Together they bring a wealth of complimentary expertise and resources to Vio. Its founders are Richard Horwood, Executive Chairman, Jonathan Cape, Group Managing Director and David Jones, non-executive director, all of whom previously held senior posts within the Trinity Mirror Group. Horwood was MD of MirrorTel, the TV and telephony division, and a member of the Mirror Group’s Executive Committee. Cape was Commercial Director of the Group’s New Media Division and Jones was Group CIO and IT Director. The new CTO of Citizen is Dr. Larry Rafsky, president of Citizen’s US partner, Acquire Media, and a well-known innovator and entrepreneur in the online information industry. He and his team have spent their careers providing technology solutions for the delivery of media over multiple platforms. The Citizen consortium also brings new technologies and resources to Vio through its partnerships with Acquire Media and AssetHouse. Acquire Media Corp is a US market leader in software and services for processing and moving digital media for publishers and large enterprises. Its core services include software tools, application provision and network management, with great expertise in managing mission critical 24 x 7 operations. AssetHouse Technology Ltd builds carrier-class Content Services Infrastructure for Content Owners and Content Service Providers. The company's technology is based on its unique Content Object Architecture (COA), which creates better, more maintainable content services quickly and cost effectively delivering true channel independent services. The company is backed by BT, Intel and leading European venture capitalists, LMS Capital and Quester VCT. "The Citizen consortium has the expertise and resources to take Vio forward on an economically viable basis, and the management vision and technical skills to provide the publishing and graphics arts industries with their future cost-effective workflow solutions", states Horwood. "We come from the media industry so, as customers, we have known and respected Vio for years. Vio holds a unique position as a pioneer of distributed workflow solutions, and we can now start to realise its true potential." The first major initiative from Citizen has been to review the Vio pricing structure. The Vio service will continue without interruption with a new pricing policy that is based on a flat fee for a Vio enterprise license based on the level of activity, making it easier for a customer and Vio to budget and manage their business more efficiently. Existing and potential customers can now use the service with all the options including Send to Me, Extended Storage, Vio Your Service and Vio Command Line, all within one flat fee. Vio will also continue to manage lease lines for companies if they request it, at cost, plus a fee for the 24x7 monitoring service, management of the telecoms contracts and call-outs. Commenting on early customer reaction Clegg adds: "Following discussions with our customers, it is clear that the market recognises Vio to be the best and most viable long-term solution utilising the Internet. With our new partners technologies, for managing distributed graphic arts workflows, and supporting our customers chosen applications, we now have the right approach to satisfy their needs, and ensure a healthy and sustainable business into the future."

 

 

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