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OCE-van der Grinten acquires Abso.

TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 19, 1996--OCE-van der Grinten N.V., Venlo, the Netherlands, today announced that it has acquired the remaining outstanding shares of Abso Blue Prints Limited, the Toronto-based distributor of wide-format plotters/copiers and related paper and other supplies.

Under terms of the agreement, OCE will purchase the outstanding 70 percent of Abso shares; OCE previously held a 30 percent interest in Abso. Purchase price and other details of the agreement were not disclosed.

The company has been renamed OCE-Canada Inc., and will soon be offering a broader range of OCE products, including OCE's advanced-technology scanners, printers/plotters, copiers and supplies for engineering applications.

"This is a logical step in the growth and development of our company," said Steve Goodall, who will continue to serve as president under the new OCE-Canada Inc. structure. "As part of OCE, we will benefit from the financial strength and market experience of a parent company with an international reputation for product quality and technological innovation.

"In addition, OCE-Canada Inc. will offer its customers an expanded product line that encompasses wide-format digital plotters, copiers and scanners for the engineering market, as well as paper and other media for ink-jet and display-graphics applications," Goodall said.

As Abso, the company was the exclusive Canadian distributor of OCE-Engineering Systems equipment. It also has its own paper converting and coating operations based in Toronto.

OCE-Canada Inc. has 79 employees at seven locations. It will be part of the OCE group of companies, with operational support provided through OCE-USA Inc., based in Chicago.

OCE-USA President and Chief Executive Officer Jan F. Dix said, "Expanding OCE's penetration of the Canadian market has been a priority, and the corporation now will be able to more aggressively and effectively address the specific requirements of Canadian engineering, architectural and construction firms."

Goodall indicated that many Canadian customers prefer to deal directly with the manufacturer when purchasing highly sophisticated, digital equipment. This new organization will provide Canadian customers direct access to OCE for hardware and software support and help in assessing and planning equipment acquisitions. In addition, OCE works closely with its customers to incorporate their current and projected needs into research and development programs. OCE-Canada Inc. will enhance the company's communication with Canadian firms for these purposes.

"This new structure also will strengthen the capabilities of the former Abso organization," Dix stated. "For example, as part of OCE, the company can now provide a heightened level of customer support -- including leasing programs and enhanced service."

Dix also said that OCE will continue to expand its product offerings for the fast-growing digital black and white and color segments of the engineering market.

In addition to its engineering systems products, OCE also markets office copiers, printers and related supplies through its Canadian distribution agreement with IKON Office Solutions.

OCE-van der Grinten, headquartered in the Netherlands, employs more than 15,000 worldwide. Its operations comprise OCE-Imaging Supplies, which manufactures and distributes a wide variety of supplies and media for engineering, business graphics and graphic arts applications; OCE-Office Systems, a leading distributor and service provider of mid- and high-volume plain-paper office copiers; OCE-Engineering Systems, a leader in wide-format reproduction equipment; and OCE-Printing Systems, a manufacturer and distributor of digital office printers for high-speed, high-volume applications.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Two of the email addresses below contain an "at" symbol before "" This symbol may not appear properly in some systems.


Steve Kerns, 773/714-4433


OCE-Canada Inc.

Steve Goodall, 416/469-5941


Edelman Public Relations

Elizabeth Scanlon, 312/240-3000


Edelman Public Relations

Nancy Gohring, 312/240-3000
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Dec 19, 1996
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