Global Graphics Completes Sale of Hardware Division to Management
Press release from the issuing company
Pompey, France; May 10th, 2002 -- Global Graphics (Nasdaq Europe: GLGR; Euronext: GLOG) has completed the sale of its Hardware Division to a management buyout team led former board director and Chief Operating Officer of the Hardware Division Gary Jones. Mr. Jones resigned from the board of Global Graphics on 22nd February in order to head up the bid and avoid any potential conflict of interest with Global Graphics.
The transaction was concluded today and comprises the lithographic, flexographic, letterpress and scanning equipment manufacturing business worldwide. It enables Global Graphics to move ahead with a healthier balance sheet, reducing its financial debt by approximately Euro 7 million (approximately $6.4 million).
Global Graphics decided to put the Hardware Division up for sale in February following a steep decline in demand in 2001 for hardware equipment from Original Equipment Manufacturers in the graphics arts market. With little prospect of improvement in 2002 the Company decided it would be in the best interests of shareholders to sell the entire Hardware Division in order to put its full resource into the high growth opportunities presented by the Software Division.
The sale accelerates the Company’ s transition into a pure play software business providing technology and solutions to the world’s leading vendors of digital pre-press systems as well as the fast growing print on demand, digital copier and printer segment.
Global Graphics’ Software Division – whose offices are located in the UK and the United States – is experiencing increasing demand for its technology and expertise to provide solutions for print on demand applications, and digital copiers and printers for the corporate market. Its ability to provide a broad spread of software technologies including the Harlequin and Jaws RIPs, workflow and PDF technologies is also proving to be an attractive offering to its traditional customer base of Original Equipment Manufacturers supplying digital pre-press systems, large-format color printers and color proofing systems.
Johan Volckaerts, Global Graphics chairman and chief executive officer comments, "We are pleased to have concluded this deal to demonstrate to our shareholders our commitment to unlocking the full value of the business. We will be focusing our strategy on providing printing software solutions to our existing graphic arts customer base whilst meeting the increasing demand we are experiencing for our technology and expertise in fast growing segments such as the corporate office market and print on demand. I would like to congratulate Gary and his team on succeeding in their bid and wish them all the best for their future as a privately owned business. "
Gary Jones, commented, "The management team has worked hard to enable this deal to take place and ensure that there was minimal disruption to the day to day running of the business. Now that it has been completed the main focus will be to continue to restructure the business in line with our customers needs and return to profitability. The litho division will trade as Heights in the UK and the flexo division as Photomeca in France. "
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