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Astron Group Acquires Edotech

Press release from the issuing company

April 8, 2004 -- Astron, the business support services group, announces the acquisition of Edotech Ltd, the UK’s leading company in the transactional customer communication market. Astron has acquired the company from the Edotech management for £130 million. Edotech will merge with Astron Print and Mail. The new division, known as Astron Document Solutions, brings together a unique mix of consultancy, service and technology that aims to re-define industry standards of client service in the transactional print and document management market. “This is a meeting of minds,” said David Mitchell, CEO of the Astron Group. “Edotech is renowned in the market for having a strong management team, excellent reference sites and strength in the financial services market. This transaction provides Astron with a new blue-chip customer base, sophisticated facilities and a stronger European operational base from which to service our customers. It is our customers who have driven this acquisition. They have demanded the integrated services that the new organisation will be able to provide” Astron employs 4,100 staff across 70 sites. Over half of the company’s business is now outside the United Kingdom, with offices situated in Austria, France, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and as far afield as India and Sri Lanka. Astron Document Solutions is currently contracted to send over 775 million customer communications a year on behalf of its customers. Typical communications include utility bills and bank statements. The company counts Barclays and Bank of Ireland among its customers in the banking sector. Other high profile customers include BT, Centrica, BUPA, DWP, Vodafone and Orange. Sam Ferguson, former CEO of Edotech and now CEO of Astron Document Solutions, added: “We had a number of options in the way we could develop our business. The reason we chose Astron is that we felt it would be best for our people and our stakeholders. Astron’s financial backing will enable us to move forward and bring together the resources, knowledge and expertise to deliver the very best solutions for our customers.” The Astron Group provides a wide portfolio of services that range from Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) to Document Solutions, Print Management and Marketing Support Services. For further information on edotech please visit www.edotech.com