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Agfa to acquire printing plate manufacturer Lastra

Press release from the issuing company

Mortsel (Belgium), March 11, 2004 – Agfa-Gevaert announces that it has reached an agreement, according to which Agfa-Gevaert will acquire all the shares of Microgran S.r.l., the holding company owning Lastra S.p.A. The transaction is subject to approval of regulatory authorities. Lastra is an Italian manufacturer of plates, related chemicals and equipment for the offset printing industry. The Group, headquartered in Manerbio, Italy, was founded in 1969 and has experienced rapid growth. Its 2003 sales amounted to approximately 240 million Euros. Lastra has historically focussed on analogue printing plates and entered the digital plate market through its acquisition in 2002 of Western Litho Plate & Supply Co., based in the US. Today, Lastra has six factories, in Italy and the US, and employs around 900 staff. "Lastra is a perfect fit for Agfa," said Albert Follens, member of the Board of Management and General Manager Graphic Systems. "The combination of the Lastra and Agfa strengths will result in tangible benefits for all the customers of both companies. The envisioned strategy is to keep the Lastra Group's brands and its dealer network in place. In addition, this acquisition will strengthen our cost leadership in printing plates, generating important revenue and cost synergies." "We are excited to become part of a strong company in the pre-press industry. Together with Agfa, we will be able to serve our customers even better as they make the transition from Computer-to-Film to Computer-to-Plate," said Roberto Ziletti, Chairman of Lastra. The transaction, which is expected to be accretive from the first year, will be financed by cash.