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Plasmon doubles through Philips acquisition

Optical and tape drive manufacturing capacity for first time

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Plasmon is beefing up its removable storage portfolio with the $26.4 million acquisition of Philips LMS, a manufacturer of magnetic tape drives and optical media. In a shareholder circular, Plasmon said the acquisition would help the company achieve its aim to become a leading player in the high-end stroage systems market. According to Plasmon the key elements of such systems are optical disk and tape drives; libraries; storage media; and integration software. Plasmon says it is well positionsed in three of these areas -- “However, the core technology in removable storage systems is the drive, a product for which Plasmon currently has no manufacturing or technology position”. Described as a “division of an affiliate of Royal Philips Electronics, Philips LMS nearly doubles the size of Plasmon, drive manufacturing capacity to the party –- and significantly enhances the profitability of its new parent company. Philips LMS made an operating profit of $7.3 million on sales of $32.1 million for the nine months to 25 September, 1998, against Plasmon’s pre-tax profit of £200K (1997: loss of £8.2 million) on sales of £20.0 million (1997: £14.2 million) for the six months to 30 September, 1998. Plasmon aims to raise up to £10 million (before expenses) through a placing and open offer for new shares. It will pay $18.5 million in cash on completion of the deal, and the rest is payable in cash over two years. ®

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