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Punch to take over Esko-Graphics Digital Printing Products Department

Press release from the issuing company

Lier (Belgium), July 2, 2003 - Punch today announced that it has signed a letter of intent with Esko-Graphics to acquire the Digital Printing Products Department of the company. Punch starts a due diligence inquiry in the next few days. The Digital Printing Products Department of Esko-Graphics is located in Gent, Belgium and covers all of Esko-Graphics' Digital Front-End activities related to digital colour printing. The take-over comprises about 15 employees, intellectual property and a range of contracts for development projects, service and spare parts supply. Historical Relationship with Xeikon Esko-Graphics (the result of the merger between Barco Graphics and Purup-Eskofot) already is a front-end supplier to the Punch-owned Xeikon. Since the early start of Xeikon in 1993, the former Barco Graphics developed the PrintStreamer Digital Front-End to process large volumes of digital data at high speed for the Xeikon digital colour presses. Up to today, Esko-Graphics supplies and supports the powerful PrintStreamer based Xeikon eXpert Digital Front-Ends. Integration Punch intends to integrate the Esko-Graphics Digital Printing Products Department with the Xeikon Front-End group. This way, Punch will establish the world's leading front-end group for production digital colour printing. Today, Xeikon already sets the standards in the digital printing industry for high performance variable data printing, superior quality and productive throughput. Adding the Esko-Graphics expertise will enable faster growth of the Punch Digital Front-End activities, also beyond Xeikon printing systems.

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