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US company to acquire EskoArtwork

January 24, 2011

Danaher to pay €350 million to acquire 100 percent of shares in the Belgium-based print software company.

EskoArtwork, a major provider of print software technology, will change hands this year pending approval of a share purchase agreement. Axcel, a Danish investment group and the current majority shareholder, has agreed to sell them to Danaher, a US firm that will pay €350 million to acquire 100 percent of the shares.

The closing of the transaction is subject to customary approvals and is foreseen to be concluded within the first half of 2011.

Danaher (NYSE: DHR) is a diversified technology leader that designs, manufactures, and markets products and services to professional, medical, industrial, and commercial customers. Driven by its Danaher Business System, the company has 47,000 employees and customers in more than 125 countries. Revenue in 2009 was $11.2 billion. Upon closing, the business will become a part of Danaher’s Product Identification platform.

“We have been extremely satisfied with our investment in EskoArtwork,” says Sigurd Lilienfeldt, the partner at Axcel responsible for the investment in EskoArtwork. “During Axcel’s ownership, EskoArtwork has repositioned itself into a world leading company within its field. This is due not only to the merger with Artwork Systems, but also because of significant R&D investments leading to a range of new leading edge solutions. This innovation capacity of EskoArtwork has been instrumental for the impressive EBITDA growth during our ownership leading to this very successful exit for Axcel.”

“Esko has a leading market position, great products, and a strong team who we are counting on to drive future growth,” notes Matt Trerotola, vice president and group executive of Danaher’s Product Identification.

Carsten Knudsen, CEO of EskoArtwork, says: “This is an important and very positive step in the continued development of the company. I and the entire management team are excited to see Danaher’s strategic interest to acquire the company and develop EskoArtwork as an autonomous business. We see this as a vote of confidence in our strategy and a strong belief in our ability to continue to grow in the future.”

EskoArtwork employs around 1,050 people worldwide. Its sales and support organization covers Europe, the Americas and the Asia Pacific and is completed by a network of distribution partners in more than 45 countries. The company is headquartered in Gent, Belgium, and has R&D and manufacturing facilities in five European countries, the United States, China and India. The consolidated full year financials ended for 2010 with revenue of €184.1 million.