Esselte announce aggressive growth strategy after acquisition by J.W. Childs

Esselte announce aggressive growth strategy after acquisition by J.W. Childs Following the announcement on July 11, 2002 from the private equity investment firm J.W. Childs, that it has decided to implement its public offer to the shareholders of Esselte, the "new" Esselte announced plans for aggressive growth. The purchase price for Esselte was SEK 90 per share, equivalent to SEK 3,100 million (appr. $330 million). Following the completion of the acquisition, Magnus Nicolin will be appointed President and CEO of the new Esselte. Until 2001 he worked as the Executive Vice President of Esselte with an operating responsibility for the DYMO and Workspace divisions. -The change in ownership of Esselte provides a number of strong benefits to the company. The foremost among these is greater financial flexibility to pursue an aggressive, growth oriented strategy. As the office products industry continues to evolve, consolidation in the ranks of manufacturers will accelerate. Esselte will now be in a position to play an active role in this process. Innovation and design Esselte will have a renewed dedication to new products in order to create new opportunities for sales and income growth. Substantial investments will be made in product development, innovation and design in all product categories. With labelling a clear growth area, particular emphasis will be placed on realizing the potential of DYMO. The division has a product range which is expected to find new applications in a large number of areas outside of the traditional office work place. Industry consolidation and geographical expansion In the fragmented markets of Filing Europe and Workspace, Esselte intends to lead the continuing consolidation in both the US and Europe through product innovation and selected acquisitions. Furthermore, Esselte plans to expand geographically. The company currently has subsidiaries in 25 countries and exports to 120 countries and will look to expand its reach in Eastern Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Branding and marketing High priority will be given to the strengthening of the company's brands and supporting customers by investing in marketing and brand building directed at end-users. This will include, among others, a clearer focus on design. The major brands are DYMO, Pendaflex, Leitz and Esselte. Customer-driven organization Esselte's product development will be customer-driven, which means considerable efforts will be made to establish and maintain a close dialogue with customers. Investments will also be made in systems and procedures to improve service and support for Esselte's customers, including integrating with client order and inventory systems. - This new era for Esselte begins with listening closely to our customers. Our business will be about developing the products - and the support functions - that they require. In the coming weeks I and the new management team will be meeting with key customers in all markets, says Magnus Nicolin. Esselte is the leading global office supplies manufacturer with annual sales of approx. SEK 11 billion, subsidiaries in 25 countries, selling office products in over 120 countries and employing approx. 6,500 people. Esselte makes it easier for people to organize the modern workplace. Our principal brands are: DYMO, Pendaflex, Leitz and Esselte. To learn more about Esselte, visit our website at www.esselte.com. For further information please contact: Magnus Nicolin Telephone: +1 516 476 6703 Bob Hawes SVP - Planning & Business Development, Esselte Telephone: +44 (0) 1895 87 87 17 E-mail: bhawes@esselte.com ------------------------------------------------------------ This information was brought to you by Waymaker http://www.waymaker.net The following files are available for download: http://www.waymaker.net/bitonline/2002/07/12/20020712BIT00340/wkr0001.doc http://www.waymaker.net/bitonline/2002/07/12/20020712BIT00340/wkr0002.pdf