Stemmer Imaging to take over three companies in Great Britain, France, and Switzerland

JUNE 22--As of July 1, Stemmer Imaging GmbH (www.stemmer-imaging.de) will unite with Firstsight Vision in Great Britain and the new Stemmer Imaging AG in Switzerland, which will be formed at the same time.

JUNE 22--As of July 1, Stemmer Imaging GmbH (www.stemmer-imaging.de) will unite with Firstsight Vision in Great Britain and the new Stemmer Imaging AG in Switzerland, which will be formed at the same time. The French company Imasys will be joining the group in the third quarter of 2004. This merger will create Europe's largest European sales organization for image-processing components. The direct sales region of the Stemmer Imaging group will thus comprise Germany, Great Britain, France, Austria, and Switzerland.

According to a recent study published by market-analysts IMS, some 70% of all sales in the European image-processing market are generated in these countries. For Great Britain and France, IMS predicts an annual sales growth of around 18% between now and 2007, the largest growth rate in Europe. The study also predicts an increase of around 10% year-on-year for Germany. The Stemmer Imaging group is about to become one of the largest companies in the world in the image-processing field, with estimated sales of some 30 million euros.

Stemmer Imaging has had stakes in both Imasys in France and Firstsight Vision in Great Britain for several years. Both companies are among the largest distributors of image-processing components in their respective countries and offer a similar range of products from the same range of manufacturers as Stemmer Imaging. The Puchheim-based company is now increasing its shares in Imasys and Firstsight Vision to a majority holding of 51%. The acquisition of the existing image-processing group of the leading Swiss automation company Omni Ray on July 1 will put Stemmer Imaging in a far better position to exploit the potential of the Swiss image-processing market in the future.

Wilhelm Stemmer, founder and chief executive of Stemmer Imaging GmbH, says, "The expansion of the Stemmer Imaging group will bring benefits to us, to our customers, and to our suppliers. Clearly, the companies of the new group will profit from the expansion of the sales region, the improved purchasing conditions, and the optimum distribution of costs and tasks.

"More important, however, the customers of the new group throughout the various countries will also benefit from a range of advantages which come as a result of the fusion," he explains. "Stock levels throughout Europe mean that the required components will always be available at short notice. The improved bulk purchasing conditions that we, as a group, will be able to negotiate with the manufacturers mean that we will be able to offer lower prices to our customers. Not only that, it also brings them increased security as they are able to put their trust in a partner with a sound financial base and the widest range of products and support services in Europe."

Further expansion of the Stemmer Imaging group into other countries of Europe is not currently planned, according to Stemmer. "Our new involvement in France, Britain and Switzerland represents an enormous opportunity for the company, but is also a great challenge. Our first goal is to master this challenge in the near future. Until such time as our current activities have settled down and are proving successful, no further involvement is planned for additional countries."

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