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Heidelberg Sells Stake in Hell Gravure Systems GmbH

Press release from the issuing company

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG sells majority shareholding - Kiel site retained – Company looking to build on leading market position April 29, 2002 -- Hell Gravure Systems GmbH, the leading manufacturer of engraving systems for gravure and flexographic printing of magazines, catalogs, packagings and decorative applications, is to be given a new corporate structure. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is to sell its majority holding in the company to BR Gravure Beteiligungs GmbH, founded by the current President of Hell Gravure Systems, Dr. Siegfried Beisswenger, and his business partner Max Rid. BR Gravure Beteiligungs GmbH is also looking to acquire the rest of the stock in Hell Gravure Systems at the earliest opportunity. "This move provides us with an optimum platform for the future of the company", stated Dr. Beisswenger. "This close tie-in with our cooperation partner Max Rid and his two businesses Kaspar Walter and Johannes Bauer means we are able to offer solutions for the complete process chain covering the production of gravure forms." Kaspar Walter manufactures and sells electroplating, surface treatment and automation systems, while Johannes Bauer extends the product portfolio by transport and storage systems. The two companies have already worked very successfully with Hell Gravure Systems in the past. Heidelberg's focus on the core prepress areas "computer-to-plate systems" and "workflow software" was key to the decision to sell Hell Gravure Systems GmbH. "We are grateful for the opportunity that Heidelberg is giving us and we will work hard to ensure that, through our joint efforts, we continue the successful course that Hell Gravure Systems has charted in the past", added Mr. Rid. Hell Gravure Systems and its 120 strong workforce will remain in Kiel. There are plans to move to new premises within the city in the middle of the year. Dr. Siegfried Beisswenger will remain President of Hell Gravure Systems. The company will use its global sales and service network to market its printing form production systems for publication gravure, packaging gravure and flexographic printing. Publication gravure is used for long-run magazines and catalogs. Many foodstuff packagings are also created using flexographic and gravure technologies. The world market is made up of around 30 large publication printing companies at 70 locations and over 1,000 engraving shops, packaging printers and decorative printers. Hell Gravure Systems GmbH was founded following the acquisition of Linotype-Hell AG by Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG in 1996. Prior to the sale, Heidelberg, the world market leader for solutions in the printing and media industry, had a share of 75% in the company.