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Bell & Howell Acquires CMC America and Expands Offerings

Press release from the issuing company

Distribution agreement renews commitment of providing customers with single-source solutions for document-finishing needs Chicago, Ill., October 10, 2002 - Bell & Howell, a leading provider of mail and messaging solutions and services, today announced the acquisition for cash of CMC America, the North American distributor for C.M.C.S.p.a., a leading Italian designer and manufacturer of sophisticated film- and paper-wrapping, inserting and packaging systems. This latest acquisition is part of an overall initiative started last year when Bell & Howell underscored its commitment to expanding its range of best-of-breed document finishing solutions for production mailers through engineering advances, strategic partnerships and acquisitions. With an expanding product line and third-party service solutions, Bell & Howell now offers customers a single source for all of their post-processing needs. "Bell & Howell recognized CMC as a pioneer in paper- and film-wrapping technology - solutions that not only improve customer communications, but increase operating efficiencies," said Doug Cowles, Vice President of Document Finishing Solutions for Bell & Howell. "With its industry-leading wrapping and packaging systems, CMC enables Bell & Howell to expand our finishing solutions and inserting technology. This will improve our product and service offerings for our existing markets, as well as provide an entry into new markets, such as newspaper publishing, commercial printers, graphic arts and others." The array of CMC products in this agreement include: * Wrapping systems - Marketed under Bell & Howell's DemandWorks(tm) product umbrella, these systems will offer customers with film-wrapping applications the highest throughput of any solution on the market. By utilizing CMC's patented paper-wrapping technology, finishers can manufacture envelopes around inserts while improving the overall efficiency and lowering operating costs. These systems can easily be configured to support both film- and paper-wrapping applications. * Inserting systems - The terms of the agreement enable Bell & Howell to distribute CMC's existing line of inserting systems. * Packaging and boxing systems - These durable systems provide heavy-duty packaging solutions, including boxes and cartons, for some of the world's largest companies. "The synergies between the two companies' products, when combined with Bell & Howell's award-winning service department, its large installed-equipment base and its market presence in North America, provide a very exciting opportunity for CMC," said Guiseppi Ponti, President of C.M.C. S.p.a. "Customers will be able to better take advantage of a wide range of top-quality finishing solutions from one provider." Also as part of the agreement, Andre Pittaluga, President of CMC America, will be joining Bell & Howell as Senior Account Manager, Vertical Markets to support new vertical market strategies. "I personally welcome this acquisition by Bell & Howell," said Pittaluga. "Bell & Howell's strong sales and service organization will be the perfect distribution channel for CMC's innovative designs. I believe this acquisition will set a new standard in the marketplace and will give CMC America's customers more value for their investment."