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Deluxe Announces 14 Million Share Repurchase Program

Press release from the issuing company

1/29/01 - St. Paul, Minn.— Deluxe Corporation (NYSE: DLX) announced that its board of directors has approved a stock repurchase program, authorizing the repurchase of up to 14 million shares of its common stock, or nearly 20 percent of the company’s shares outstanding. "At current prices, we believe the repurchase of our stock is a good investment," said Lawrence J. Mosner, chairman and chief executive officer of Deluxe. "We have confidence in our ability to achieve our 2001 earnings target, making share repurchases extremely attractive." Deluxe anticipates diluted earnings per share of $2.45 for 2001, prior to the effect of share repurchases. "The share repurchase program recognizes the strong profitability and cash flow generating capabilities of Deluxe," Mosner said. "We believe that share repurchase is an excellent use of cash that will enhance value for all shareholders of Deluxe." The company said that it expects to use a combination of both short and long-term debt, as well as cash flow from operations, to fund its repurchase activities. Deluxe generates approximately $350 million of EBITDA annually. "In addition, we are positioned to invest in growth opportunities that strengthen our position within the businesses in which we compete," Mosner added. "Our general philosophy for evaluating every investment will be to compare it against the return rate available from share repurchases. Using share repurchase as a guideline, we will consider growth opportunities that would be strategic to our existing lines of business and accretive to earnings and cash flow per share." Deluxe said it would repurchase shares from time to time in the open market at prevailing market prices, by block purchase or through other transactions managed by broker-dealers.