BARCO strengthens its position with the acquisition of Gerber Systems Corporation

BARCO has signed an agreement with Gerber Scientific, Inc. in which BARCO acquires 100% of the shares of Gerber Systems Corporation (GSC) for an undisclosed amount and future royalties.
GSC - a division of Gerber Scientific Inc. - is a pioneer in imaging technology and supplier of automated optical inspection systems. Its laser-based systems are widely used in the electronic manufacturing and graphic arts industries.
The turnover of GSC amounted to 45 million US$ in FY 1997. A total staff of 158 will become part of the BARCO organization worldwide. Although GSC was not profitable during the last year, BARCO expects this acquisition to have a positive effect on its results from 1999 onward, due to the integration of GSC into BARCO Graphics.

The product offerings of GSC as well as its distribution channels perfectly complement those of BARCO, both for the electronic manufacturing and the graphic arts industries. As a result of this merger BARCO strengthens its leadership position in both markets.

For the electronics industry, GSC designs, manufactures, installs and supports innovative laser imaging systems and automatic optical inspection machines used in the manufacturing of Printed Circuit Boards. In this market, GSC operates by means of direct sales channels in the USA and for the rest of the world through a network of dealers.

Its products for the graphic arts industry include 2 to 24 A4 pages offset platesetters, the Crescent line, with manual or assisted plate loading capabilities, as well as the unique Impress dual sided color proofer. The distribution in the graphic arts market is organized through a network of dealers.

Bruno Pairon, Vice President of BARCO and Managing Director of BARCO’s Electronic Tooling Systems and Graphics business unit says, "This acquisition will strengthen BARCO’s position as market leader for high throughput systems in the electronic manufacturing and graphic arts industries, and it confirms BARCO’s commitment to serve both markets on a global scale.
For the PCB market the Gerber products will complete BARCO’s product line of plotters. The merger will extend the global presence of BARCO Electronic Tooling Systems, especially in North America, with an outstanding sales and support network.
In the graphic arts area, GSC’s Crescent and BARCO Graphics’ LITHOSETTER Computer-to-Plate imagers are very complementary, addressing a wide range of performances, imaging technologies and market segments."

The Boards of Directors of BARCO and Gerber Scientific Inc. have approved the transaction and the companies have filed for the necessary regulatory approvals. It is expected that the transaction will close within a few weeks.

Gerber Systems Corporation, based in South Windsor, Connecticut, USA, one of the subsidiaries of Gerber Scientific Inc., a US company quoted on the New York Stock Exchange, designs, manufactures and integrates advanced automation equipment for use in the electronic manufacturing and the graphic arts industries. Gerber Systems maintains a strong leadership position within its key market segments by creating leading-edge imaging and inspection technology.

BARCO Electronic Tooling Systems offers complete pre-production engineering systems and imaging solutions for the electronic manufacturing industry, such as the production of Printed Circuit Boards, MCM-on-flex and Lead Frames. BARCO Electronic Tooling Systems’ product offerings include laser photoplotters for silver-halide phototools and direct-write film material, as well as complete software solutions for managing and generating all tools required for the production process.

BARCO Graphics, with centers of competence in Belgium, the USA and Singapore, provides integrated prepress solutions for targeted graphic arts markets. The key to the success of its FASTLANE systems is a thorough understanding of customer applications and workflows. BARCO Graphics’ FASTLANE prepress systems include specialized hardware such as imagesetters, offset and flexo platesetters, high-speed RIPs, and digital printing solutions, as well as a wide range of dedicated software packages for both design and production. BARCO Graphics focuses on specialized markets: packaging designers and printers, magazine and book printers, variable information publishers, high-volume or large-format commercial printers, and decorative & textile, cartography, ceramics, and security printers, as well as high-end photo retouchers and design bureaus.

BARCO Graphics is one of the six strategic activities of the BARCO Group, alongside BARCO Projection Systems, BARCO Display Systems, BARCO Communication Systems, BARCO Automation and BARCO Machine Vision.
In 1997, BARCO Graphics realised a turnover of BEF 4.729 billion whereas the total turnover of the BARCO group amounts to BEF 22.998 billion.


For more information, please contact

JP Tanghe JP Tanghe
Senior Advisor to the CEO - Compliance Officer
Barco nv

Telephone +32 56/26 23 22
jp.tanghe@barco.com

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