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Westvaco Accelerates Growth in Rapidly Expanding DVD Markets

Press release from the issuing company

NEW YORK---Aug. 16, 2001--Westvaco Corporation today announced the acquisition of privately held Poly-Matrix by its AGI Media Packaging subsidiary. Poly-Matrix has manufacturing operations in Pittsfield, MA, and is North America's largest producer of specialty plastic components for DVD, CD and other entertainment packaging. "Poly-Matrix is the cornerstone of our plans to leverage the knowledge and capabilities of our European injection-molded plastic packaging operation in North America,'' said Richard Block, Westvaco Senior Vice President and head of the company's Consumer Packaging Group. "In Europe, we manufacture and license the world's best selling standard DVD package. Adding Poly-Matrix to our organization will accelerate our participation in the rapidly growing DVD market. This action also enhances our ability to create new high-value products for pharmaceutical and cosmetics markets, supporting our strategic goal to grow in those target markets as well.'' DVD sales are growing about 25 percent a year in the United States and 40 percent a year in Europe, reflecting the format's use for recording movies as well as interactive computer games. Poly-Matrix, which had sales of $28 million during its most recent fiscal year, supplies packaging components to AGI, AOL-Time Warner and other companies serving the entertainment industry. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. "During our long relationship, we have been impressed by Poly-Matrix's focus on innovation, quality and service,'' said Gary Mankoff, Vice President and General Manager, U.S. Operations, for AGI Media Packaging. "It was easy to see that the company would be a great fit with our business.'' Founded in 1960, Poly-Matrix employs about 210 people. Westvaco has begun installation of new manufacturing equipment within the Pittsfield facility that will allow Poly-Matrix to quickly increase its production of DVD packaging to meet rapidly growing market demand. "Our new relationship with AGI makes us a partner with a company that has a broader and more global customer base, enabling us to take an even stronger leadership position in our target markets,'' said Dave Rufo, Vice President of Sales for Poly-Matrix. "It will be much easier for us to diversify into new markets knowing that we have the full support of global leaders like Westvaco and AGI. This combination creates compelling opportunities for each of us.'' Poly-Matrix will become part of a new AGI unit overseen by Leo T. Mulcahy, Vice President and General Manager, Plastics Packaging Operations - AGI Media Packaging U.S. Mr. Mulcahy, a long-time Westvaco employee with extensive product development experience, was instrumental in the Poly-Matrix acquisition.

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