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Fujitsu Completes Acquisition of Optimal Robotics' Self-Checkout Business.

Business Editors

FRISCO, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 12, 2004

Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Inc. has completed its acquisition of the Optimal Robotics self-checkout business for $35 million in cash and an assumption of liabilities.

The acquisition includes self-checkout systems and related services marketed by Montreal-based Optimal under the U-Scan(R) brand. According to a recent report from IHL Consulting Group, a market research and business consulting firm focused on the retail industry, U-Scan systems account for about 40 percent of the self-checkout lanes in North America (IHL Market Study: Retail Self-Checkout Systems in North America, 2003).

"Fujitsu's purchase of Optimal's U-Scan assets is great news for retailers," said Paula Rosenblum, director of retail research at Aberdeen Group, a market research firm specializing in value chain strategies and technology advice for Global 5000 companies. "We expect Fujitsu to bring its philosophy of relentless cost reduction into the self-checkout arena, bringing the business value of this red-hot technology to a broader spectrum of retailers at a reduced total cost of ownership."

"Optimal has a great product line that's backed by strong intellectual property and human capital, a well-established brand and an impressive customer base," said Austen Mulinder, president and CEO of Fujitsu Transaction Solutions. "We believe that Fujitsu is very well positioned to leverage those assets by applying our relentless cost reduction mindset and product engineering skills to further increase quality and drive out operating and support costs to benefit retailers around the world."

Mulinder added that the acquisition enables Fujitsu to offer self-checkout solutions to grocery retailers of all sizes, as well as to large non-food retailers. StoreNext Retail Technologies LLC, a 50/50 joint venture between Fujitsu and Retalix Ltd. (Nasdaq:RTLX), will also offer self-checkout solutions to independent grocers and small chains through its extensive dealer network.

IHL's market study also reported that shipments of self-checkout systems will grow by about 95 percent in 2004, with the market exceeding $1.3 billion in 2005. Greg Buzek, president of IHL, estimates that 95 percent of the supermarket chains in North America will have some degree of self-checkout by 2006.

"Self-checkout is an absolute necessity, as supermarkets face pressure from Wal-Mart," Buzek said. "It allows them to shift employees to higher-profit areas of the store, and it gives them a competitive advantage."

"Optimal is delighted that it is Fujitsu in particular who has acquired our self-checkout assets because they provide the best possible future for our employees and customers," said Neil Wechsler, co-chairman and CEO of Optimal Group Inc. (formerly Optimal Robotics Corp.; Nasdaq:OPMR). "I am convinced that Fujitsu will build on our achievements in self-checkout and realize the full potential that we have worked so hard to create."

U-Scan systems enable shoppers to scan, bag and pay for their purchases with little or no assistance from store personnel. Available in many of the top grocery chains, U-Scan self-checkout systems have been deployed throughout the U.S. as well as in Canada and the U.K.

About Fujitsu Transaction Solutions

Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Inc., headquartered in Frisco, Texas, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) and the IT "lifecycle solutions" provider for retailing technologies. Focused on helping customers relentlessly reduce costs, Fujitsu's offerings include infrastructure management services, point-of-sale hardware and software, mobile devices and self service systems. The company has operated in North America for more than 30 years and has more than 1,000 employees in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. It serves customers such as Albertsons, Best Buy, ChevronTexaco, Nordstrom, REI, Staples, Stop & Shop and The TJX Companies, among others. The company also has a 50/50 joint venture with Retalix Ltd. (Nasdaq:RTLX) in StoreNext Retail Technologies LLC, the No. 1 supplier of retail technology to independent grocers and small chains. Web site:

Editor's Note: For sales and product information call 1-800-340-4425.

Trademarks: U-Scan is a registered trademark of Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Inc.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 12, 2004
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