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Merrill Leads Financial Printing Industry in Transition to Web-Based Platform

Press release from the issuing company

St. Paul, Minn.- 3/4/01 Merrill Corporation (www.merrillcorp.com), a global diversified communications and document services provider, announced that its Financial Document Services (FDS) business has launched the first-of-its-kind offering that will give customers the choice to work completely online with Merrill for hypertext markup language (HTML) filings with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). The new service will use exclusively Microsoft Word® and will be rolled out throughout 2001, beginning with several key U.S. markets. "The SEC will eventually mandate HTML for all EDGAR filings and we have made a strategic decision to be first to market with a service that will ease our customers' transition to fully Web-based filings," said Mike James, president of Merrill's FDS business. "We've been testing the market's readiness for more than a year, with MerrillDirectTM, and now the time is right to begin introducing it into the mainstream." The new platform, called MerrillDirect, will be available at www.merrilldirect.com, the business-to-business Web site Merrill launched last year to enable companies to create, prepare, EDGAR file, and distribute financial documents securely online. MerrillDirect services will be broadened, offering all current and prospective Merrill clients access to Web tools, such as Merrill e-CollaborateTM, to manage and distribute financial documents among working groups and Merrill. Through MerrillDirect, both traditional and electronic means of filing SEC documents will be available.

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