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PAInvest Buys Luscher, Comments by Andy Tribute

Monday, October 09, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

October 9, 2006 -- (WhatTheyThink.com) -- In late September, PAInvest purchased a majority stake in Luscher AG. Luscher is a Swiss based prepress manufacturer that designs and markets machinery mostly for the polygraphic industry. PAInvest says they will expand Luscher's ability to grow and serve their worldwide customer base. Next January, Luscher will introduce a new print head technology, based on the Xpose! product, which is supposed to offer "considerable savings as far as printing plates are concerned." According to a statement from PAInvest, "With the UV technology as implemented by Luscher, the company will benefit from an interesting unique sales position in the market. Receipt of initial orders at this point, even before product launch, are proof for the excellent technological and market reputation of Luscher AG. In addition to applications of UV technology in the computer to plate sector (CtP), the technology will also be used in the computer to screen sector (CtS) for large surface printing. In the digital segment the expansion of the Luscher developed JetPrint will be pushed as well. The high quality machines are above all characterized by flexibility regarding application of various print media and they also offer maximum precision printing". Willhelm R. Tschol, managing director of PAInvest and now also chairman of the Luscher Board of Directors said, "The objective of sustained safeguarding of an existing traditional company, also harboring extraordinary innovative potential and having achieved an excellent reputation in the industry by way of flexibility and proximity to customers, made us decide on this acquisition. The pipeline is now filled with many promising product innovations; the market resonance is already now very positive. Together, we will further expand Luscher's position of a top Swiss company." Comments from WhatTheyThink.com's Andy Tribute: Luscher has been acquired by PAInvest, the small and medium enterprise fund of the GEP Group in Switzerland. The price of the acquisition was not disclosed but it is understood to be a fairly low price. It will be interesting to see how Luscher will be organized in the future and if the new owners will restructure the current product line for cost reduction purposes in any future company reorganization. It is also not known specifically who of the company's management team is staying on under the new ownership. It is understood that plans for the new UV CtP system for conventional plates will continue and this product is now scheduled for first installations in January of 2007. The company's position in other new areas of business such as flexo CtP and very large format flatbed inkjet printing are something to watch to see if the new owners continue with these programs. Premium Access Members at WhatTheyThink.com can view more analysis and commentary in Andy Tribute's weekly column on Tuesdays, appropriately called "Tribute Tuesdays".




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