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Vio Gets Major Funding from London Merchant Securities

Press release from the issuing company

April 2, 2002 -- LMS Capital, the venture capital arm of FTSE 250, London Merchant Securities plc, has agreed to invest £3 million in Vio, the provider of software and services to the print and publishing sector. London Merchant Securities plc is well known in the UK as a property company but has also been a venture capital investor in the US for more than 20 years. This is the latest in a series of investments by LMS Capital in early to mid-stage UK technology companies. Vio was acquired from BT and Scitex in June 2001 by an experienced team of former Trinity Mirror executives led by Richard Horwood, now Vio’s Executive Chairman, working with Vio management. Since the acquisition, the company’s business model has been transformed from that of loss-making re-seller of telecommunications network connections, into a subscription-based provider of value-added software and services. “It was a case of adding experienced commercial management to excellent software and services,” says Horwood. “Vio was a hidden jewel with a respected brand and reputation. We spotted it just in time to capitalise on the huge investment already made. With this new funding from LMS Capital, we now have a strong and supportive backer to enable us to deliver on the promise.” Commenting on the decision to invest in Vio, Nick Habgood of LMS Capital explains: “Vio is a well-established business deriving significant revenues from delivering demonstrable efficiencies and cost savings to its customers. This transaction brings together an experienced and committed staff and management team, compelling technology, operational excellence and the financial resources necessary to realise the opportunity.” Commenting on the Company’s new focus, Horwood explains: “Vio provides our customers and their partners with two key things: real-time, online management information tools to control the flow of work throughout the creative, publishing, print and production processes; and network management services for the reliable and secure transmission of their large, mission-critical digital files. The latest version of our products will also enable our customers to use the Internet as an industrial-strength communications network, and at a fraction of the cost of dedicated circuits.” The value of Vio’s services is demonstrated by its winning back major customers such as Reed Business Information. According to Eric Lambert, Director, Production & Prepress at RBI: “Vio always provided a thoroughly reliable service. It’s really good news for the industry that the new owners have turned this business around, and are focusing on easing our complex production processes, while delivering cost savings.”