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Merrill Corporation First to Convert All EDGAR Filings to New SEC System

Press release from the issuing company

ST. PAUL, MN April 12, 2001 Merrill Corporation (www.merrillcorp.com), a global diversified communications and document services provider, today announced that its Financial Document Services (FDS) business was the first major filing agent to convert its EDGAR filings to the new Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Web-based filing system which uses the Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL) format. In the critical March peak month for 10-Ks, Merrill submitted almost 25 percent of all the HTML documents filed with the SEC. This was 60 percent more than Merrill's biggest competitor. To date in 2001, Merrill's volume of EDGAR II filings exceeds that of its two largest competitors combined. Merrill completed its system conversion on March 6, well before the SEC's mandated conversion deadline of April 20. Additionally, the system passed a major milestone when it was used for all client filings on the single largest volume day of the year for EDGAR, the 10-K peak of April 2. "Our leadership in technology allowed us to make this step several weeks before the SEC's cut-off date," said Mike James, president of FDS. "We chose to take the step now because we are enthusiastic about the SEC's modernization efforts and see great potential in the technology. HTML represents the best format for our clients as they strive to re-purpose their information and documents for clearer, more rapid financial communications." The changeover occurred after several months of extended testing. Merrill clients benefit from a seamless transition to the new system because there is no visible difference from the process they are accustomed to when working with Merrill. The new Merrill EDGAR filing platform requires no new training for the hundreds of customer service staff in Merrill locations worldwide. "The single source, centralized filing methodology applied by Merrill allows for a faster, more stable and higher volume capability unmatched anywhere else in the filing community," James said. "Both new and existing clients have enthusiastically converted to the superior HTML formatting offered through EDGAR AdvantageTM and we fully intend to continue building on our leadership with enhancements to be announced in the near future." Merrill's EDGAR Advantage is one of the largest filing services in the world and has filed more EDGAR HTML documents than any other filing agent since the SEC's implementation in May 1999.