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Transcontinental Sheds Noncore Call Center Business

Press release from the issuing company

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--Transcontinental Inc. announced today that it has sold Sodema, its customer contact centre, to SR.Teleperformance, a global corporation based in France. Located in Montreal, Sodema has close to 350 employees and operates more than 300 workstations. Its annual revenues are about C$16 million. This transaction makes Teleperformance Canada one of the top ten CRM and contact centre solution providers in Canada, with more than 500 workstations in Toronto and Montreal, and expected revenues of about C$30 million in 2003. Internationally, SR.Teleperformance operates 144 centres in 29 countries and has close to 23,000 computerized workstations. "Sodema is a profitable company with good management and loyal customers," said Luc Desjardins, President and COO of Transcontinental Inc., "but it is not a strategic asset for our core printing and publishing business. We chose SR.Teleperformance from several potential buyers because it specializes in contact centres and is growing rapidly in Canada. This transaction is good news for Sodema's customers and employees. Joining an international company will enable Sodema to expand and provide its sophisticated customers with an ever-increasing and complex range of services. SR.Teleperformance has the same corporate culture as we do, based on customer satisfaction and technological innovation." Erifili Morfidis, CEO of Teleperformance Canada, commented: "This acquisition fully rounds out our roster of services and reinforces our inbound and technical support capabilities as well as our experience in key sectors such as ISP. We are now able to meet our clients' CRM needs in all areas, and from this strong platform our aim is to continue to grow rapidly and move into the top five during the next 18 months." Daniel Julien, CEO of Teleperformance Group Inc., SR.Teleperformance's operating company for the Americas and Asia Pacific region, underlined the strategic importance of the acquisition: "Canada is an important market in itself, and given its cultural and physical proximity to the United States is also crucial to our strategy of developing nearshore outsourcing solutions to complement our offshore and domestic facilities. Around 50% of the activity of Canada's major outsourcers is delocalized work for the US. With the addition of Sodema's capabilities, Teleperformance Canada has an extended domestic and delocalized offer, which will enable it to drive growth."