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Full Text: COPYRIGHT 2004 Business Wire


Business Editors


PARIS & EDMONTON, Canada--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 7, 2004 The Acquisition of Canadian-Based Textile Laser Cutting Systems Specialist Strengthens Lectra's World Leadership in the Automotive Industry Lectra and Lacent Technologies today announced the acquisition of Lacent by Lectra.


Founded in 1992, Lacent has developed world class technology and strong core competencies in laser cutting systems, focusing in three major market segments: airbag cutting solutions, automotive seating and trim, and industrial textiles.

Lacent is a significant worldwide player (with an estimated 25% market share), behind Lectra (number one) in high-speed continuous process textile laser cutting systems. Lacent holds strong positions in North America and Europe, and has recently expanded into Asia.



In the past 4 years, Lacent has sold over 25 laser cutting systems, and has developed a solid customer base, including in airbags: Autoliv (the world's largest manufacturer of automotive safety components and airbags), TRW Automotive and SCI; in car interiors: TS Trim and HFI Inc. (primary suppliers of seat coverings and trim to Honda in the United States); in industrial filtration: Madison Filter and National Filter Media (North America's largest manufacturer of industrial filtration media).


The definitive agreements have been signed by Lectra, Lacent and Lacent's major shareholders. The acquisition is anticipated to close within the next 30 days. The financial terms include the acquisition of 100% of Lacent's fully-diluted capital. The total consideration will be paid in full at closing from Lectra's net cash, with no bank financing. Combined Synergies and Future Development


Lacent and Lectra's 2003 combined revenues in laser cutting systems exceeded US$17 million. The two companies estimate that the worldwide demand for continuous process laser cutting systems should show a double digit annual growth over the next four years, and reach US$30-40 million, the dominant market being the automotive industry, notably airbags, where laser technology provides a clear value proposition and tangible advantage to end-users. With a strong customer base in the transportation and industrial fabrics market sectors, including most of the world leaders, Lectra intends to develop and leverage significant synergies from the two companies' own assets and competencies. The combination of Lacent's and Lectra's laser technologies will offer customers the best of breed and broadest product range, enabling them to address their production, productivity and quality challenges. In parallel, Lectra will offer Lacent's customers access to its unique sales and service organization around the world -- with a staff of more than 900 -- and 3 International Call Centers and 3 International Advanced Technology Centers in Bordeaux-Cestas (France), Atlanta (Georgia, USA), and Shanghai (China), dedicated to showcasing Lectra's complete array of solutions.


"I am proud to see Lacent join the Lectra group, the world leader in our industry," said Ted Redmond, Lacent's CEO. "Lacent has been financed almost since its inception by venture capital and needed to merge with a large, world-wide organization in order to meet its customers' global demands, and ensure the continued development of its technologies and products: Lectra was the best fit for us."


"The acquisition of Lacent strengthens our world leadership in the automotive industry, in which we have made our strongest growth in 2003, in Asia-Pacific, North America and Europe," said Daniel Harari, Lectra's Chief Executive Officer.


"This acquisition is in line with Lectra's external growth strategy initiated several months ago, in a market destined for restructuring and consolidation. Our customers' technology needs in the automotive safety (airbags) and interiors (seating and trim) as well as in the aerospace and other users of industrial fabrics, are greater now than ever before. The combination of Lectra's and Lacent's laser technologies, together with Lectra's leading fabric and leather knife cutting systems, will bring them the guarantee of the most extensive, powerful, state-of-the-art technologies and unrivalled service. Our combined customer base includes the world leading manufacturers, leaving our competitors far behind. Our expansion in the North American, Chinese and Japanese automotive markets in 2003 has created a strong momentum on which we are now leveraging our energies," said Daniel Harari.


About Lectra: Lectra is the world leader in the design, manufacturing and distribution of software and hardware dedicated to the major industrial users of textiles, leather and other soft materials, supplying a comprehensive array of associated services for the development of complete solutions, from product design to manufacture to retailing. Lectra is present on all major markets, including fashion, apparel and retailing, luggage & leather goods, footwear, furniture & furnishings, transportation (the automotive, aerospace and marine industries), together with other industries working with industrial fabrics and composite materials.


Thanks to its recent acquisition of Investronica Sistemas, Lectra has strengthened its number one position, with 2003 combined revenues for the two companies of EUR 240 million (approx. US$270 million), exceeding by 70% the second player's revenues.


With a staff of 1,500 worldwide, Lectra generates close to 90% of its revenues outside France, thanks to its unrivaled international network serving more than 16,000 customers in over 100 countries.


Lectra's shares (code ISIN FR0000065484) are traded on the Second Marche of the Euronext Paris exchange (in the NextEconomy segment). They figure among the European stocks making up the Euronext Next 150 index, and the French stocks making up the SBF 250, Midcac and Second Marche indexes of Euronext Paris.


Learn more about Lectra at

Lectra Acquires Lacent Technologies

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