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PLM acquires Optium, digital pre-media and large format digital firm

Press release from the issuing company

TORONTO, June 17 - In a move to expand its product offering, and position itself for long-term growth, PLM Group today announced it has added significant new digital pre-media, pre-press and large format digital imaging capabilities through the strategic acquisition of Optium, a market leader in pre-media and digital services. With a 5-year track record, Optium is a profitable, rapidly-growing business that serves a number of the largest and most innovative companies and creative agencies in Canada from a modern, fully-equipped 35,000 square foot facility in mid Toronto. The acquisition - for total consideration of $6.0 million (including the issuance of 1,007,288 PLM Group common shares) - adds substantial scope and scale to PLM's existing pre-media capabilities and "presents us with an opportunity to add substantial new business - now and in the future - as a fully-integrated total solutions provider of promotional print and print-on- demand services," said PLM Chairman and CEO Barry Pike. "This initiative makes PLM well situated to capitalize on expanding areas of our served markets that require complete end-to-end services beginning with advanced digital pre-media and incorporating exceptional web, sheet-fed printing, finishing, direct mail and digital imaging services." Demand for Optium's branded digital pre-media and large format printing services naturally fuels demand for traditional commercial print, said Mr. Pike. "I have known the shareholders of Optium since its inception; the company has a very strong management team, leading edge technology and is a market leader in its areas of expertise. I have long felt that Optium would be a perfect fit for PLM and I am delighted that we have finally accomplished it" added Pike. "Demand for both is expected to grow substantially over the long term as Canadian businesses increasingly use highly targeted print, print advertising, direct mail and point of purchase material to communicate targeted messages based on customer profiles and regional focus. The value of Optium to us and to our clients is its ability to expertly prepare, re-purpose and transfer the power of customer creative to all print-related forms of marketing and communication." said Don MacDonald, President of PLM Imaging. This is the second acquisition PLM has completed in 2003 (Mailer Magic was acquired in February), and, according to Marc Fortier, President of PLM Digital Services, "reflects the Company's aggressive program of rounding out our print-related digital capabilities to secure more value-added assignments from leading customers. These two purchases have closed the client service loop for us by removing gaps in our product line-up. These acquisitions, combined with other recent investments, give us the power to greatly elevate PLM's competitive position in the North American commercial print marketplace." Immediately Accretive Bill Dier, President of Optium, said: "Joining PLM is a wise move for us. It means we gain a secure, proven source of printing and direct mail for our clients - whereas before we had to outsource these services to many third parties - and we become a valued part of a much bigger and resourceful business that is unique in the Canadian market. This is a classic win-win. The combination will be immediately accretive for both businesses and brings substantial value to our customer relationships at a time when clients are shopping for value with greater intensity than ever." The Future of Optium Optium will remain a standalone business, maintaining its own name, current location and identity. "Our focus is on doing what's right for customers, and clearly, the Optium brand and franchise need to be respected and nurtured, which can best be accomplished through technological - but not physical integration," said Mr. Fortier. "That said, we intend to quickly develop a common technology platform, which will allow us to efficiently and seamlessly share client files. We also intend to piggyback on Optium's unique client development activities and harness the power of PLM's much larger sales force to seize growth opportunities quickly." The Future of an Expanded PLM "PLM is solely focused on commercial printing and is passionate about adding value through people and technology," said Mr. Pike. "This acquisition is a perfect fit for us on operating, strategic and cultural levels because Optium's people share our passion. "Moving forward, we intend to forcefully market our expanded services to secure more value-added assignments from existing customers and achieve preferred supplier status with new accounts. The timing of this acquisition is perfect given the state of the economy and the natural ramp up of seasonal demand in late summer. We'll be ready." Concluded Mr. Pike: "PLM is now the commercial printer to watch in our markets with greater capabilities and growth momentum than ever before."