Bell & Howell to Sell International Mail Business to Pitney Bowes

Sale Represents 'Next Step' Toward Creating Focused e-Learning

And e-Publishing Company



Apr 18, 2001, 01:00 ET from Bell & Howell Company

    ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Taking another step in its move
 to create a focused e-learning and e-publishing company, Bell & Howell Company
 (NYSE:   BHW) -- soon to be named ProQuest Company -- today announced it had
 reached an agreement to sell a majority of its international mail and
 messaging business for $51 million in cash to Pitney Bowes (NYSE:   PBI).
     The companies expect the transaction to close sometime in the second
 quarter of 2001, subject to regulatory approval in Germany and to employee
 consultation obligations.
     "We recognized some time ago that for our company to grow and create
 greater shareholder value, we needed to restructure and separate our
 businesses into new companies," said Jim Roemer, chairman and chief executive
 officer of Bell & Howell Company.
     "Since we announced this corporate realignment in January 2000, we've been
 working diligently to focus the company -- attracting the people, developing
 the products and building the infrastructure necessary to operate one of the
 world's premier information companies.  We are now well on our way to becoming
 ProQuest Company, an e-learning and e-publishing enterprise that concentrates
 on providing value-added content to targeted audiences.  The sale of the
 international mailing business operations, coupled with the anticipated sale
 of the remaining mail and messaging businesses, represents the final steps in
 our transformation strategy."
     Nils Johansson, chairman of Bell & Howell Mail and Messaging Technologies
 (MMT) said the transaction was equally important to the mail business.  "This
 sale strengthens both the North American and the international businesses of
 MMT," Johansson said.  "For us to remain competitive internationally we either
 had to invest heavily in further developing this business, or find a strategic
 buyer.  By combining the international business with Pitney Bowes, we not only
 create the opportunity and the platform to better serve those international
 markets, but we enable the remaining North American mail businesses to invest
 in, focus on and build our market-leading position."
     Bell & Howell's United Kingdom-based international mailing business
 manufactures, markets and services high-end mail processing, sorting and
 service-related products through a network of distributors and direct
 operations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.  It generated revenues
 of $84 million in 2000, which represented about 20 percent of MMT's total
 revenues.
     Staying with Bell & Howell's international mail business will be its
 managing director Mike Muller.  "Bell & Howell international mail business has
 a proud history of delivering great technology and solid results for our
 customers," Muller said.  "Over the years we have repeatedly brought to the
 market leading-edge hardware and software.  Our trademark, however, has always
 been our service organization -- one that has clearly given our customers the
 best service in the industry.  And now, in combination with Pitney Bowes, we
 look forward to expanding our solutions and broadening our markets.  We will
 be poised to further exceed customer expectations as well as create an
 organization that will give our associates a strong foundation upon which to
 build their careers."
 
     About Bell & Howell
     Bell & Howell Co., with headquarters in Ann Arbor, Mich., is a leading
 information solutions and services provider to industries worldwide.  In each
 of its businesses, the company transforms information through software and
 services, helping its customers operate more effectively and efficiently.
 Additional information about Bell & Howell Company can be found at
 http://www.bellhowell.com .
 
     About Pitney Bowes
     Pitney Bowes is a $4 billion global provider of integrated mail and
 document management solutions headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut.  The
 company serves over 2 million businesses of all sizes in more than 130
 countries through dealer and direct operations. For additional information
 about Pitney Bowes, please visit our website at www.pitneybowes.com .
 
     Risk Factors
     Except for the historical information and discussions contained herein,
 statements contained in this release may constitute "forward-looking
 statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
 of 1995. These statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other
 factors, including without limitation, the cost and availability of
 intellectual property from third parties, decreases in the ability to attract
 and retain employees for the existing Bell & Howell, obtain capital, including
 interest rate risks, unexpected merger-related effects, timing and market
 conditions relating to the sale of the Mail & Messaging Technologies business
 as well as business execution risk and risk of new competitors, and any
 necessary regulatory approvals, decreases in funding for Internet access as
 well as overall acceptance and usage of the Internet in the education and
 library markets,  the availability of free or advertising supported research
 information on the Internet, decreases or shifts in mail volumes, rate of
 acceptance of electronic-based mailings, including effects of and rate of
 acceptance of internet-based solutions, including the automotive business,
 changes in the business services market, changes in the automotive industry,
 and general economic conditions, all of which could cause actual results to
 differ materially, and such other risks as discussed in the company's filings
 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
 
 

SOURCE Bell & Howell Company
    ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Taking another step in its move
 to create a focused e-learning and e-publishing company, Bell & Howell Company
 (NYSE:   BHW) -- soon to be named ProQuest Company -- today announced it had
 reached an agreement to sell a majority of its international mail and
 messaging business for $51 million in cash to Pitney Bowes (NYSE:   PBI).
     The companies expect the transaction to close sometime in the second
 quarter of 2001, subject to regulatory approval in Germany and to employee
 consultation obligations.
     "We recognized some time ago that for our company to grow and create
 greater shareholder value, we needed to restructure and separate our
 businesses into new companies," said Jim Roemer, chairman and chief executive
 officer of Bell & Howell Company.
     "Since we announced this corporate realignment in January 2000, we've been
 working diligently to focus the company -- attracting the people, developing
 the products and building the infrastructure necessary to operate one of the
 world's premier information companies.  We are now well on our way to becoming
 ProQuest Company, an e-learning and e-publishing enterprise that concentrates
 on providing value-added content to targeted audiences.  The sale of the
 international mailing business operations, coupled with the anticipated sale
 of the remaining mail and messaging businesses, represents the final steps in
 our transformation strategy."
     Nils Johansson, chairman of Bell & Howell Mail and Messaging Technologies
 (MMT) said the transaction was equally important to the mail business.  "This
 sale strengthens both the North American and the international businesses of
 MMT," Johansson said.  "For us to remain competitive internationally we either
 had to invest heavily in further developing this business, or find a strategic
 buyer.  By combining the international business with Pitney Bowes, we not only
 create the opportunity and the platform to better serve those international
 markets, but we enable the remaining North American mail businesses to invest
 in, focus on and build our market-leading position."
     Bell & Howell's United Kingdom-based international mailing business
 manufactures, markets and services high-end mail processing, sorting and
 service-related products through a network of distributors and direct
 operations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.  It generated revenues
 of $84 million in 2000, which represented about 20 percent of MMT's total
 revenues.
     Staying with Bell & Howell's international mail business will be its
 managing director Mike Muller.  "Bell & Howell international mail business has
 a proud history of delivering great technology and solid results for our
 customers," Muller said.  "Over the years we have repeatedly brought to the
 market leading-edge hardware and software.  Our trademark, however, has always
 been our service organization -- one that has clearly given our customers the
 best service in the industry.  And now, in combination with Pitney Bowes, we
 look forward to expanding our solutions and broadening our markets.  We will
 be poised to further exceed customer expectations as well as create an
 organization that will give our associates a strong foundation upon which to
 build their careers."
 
     About Bell & Howell
     Bell & Howell Co., with headquarters in Ann Arbor, Mich., is a leading
 information solutions and services provider to industries worldwide.  In each
 of its businesses, the company transforms information through software and
 services, helping its customers operate more effectively and efficiently.
 Additional information about Bell & Howell Company can be found at
 http://www.bellhowell.com .
 
     About Pitney Bowes
     Pitney Bowes is a $4 billion global provider of integrated mail and
 document management solutions headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut.  The
 company serves over 2 million businesses of all sizes in more than 130
 countries through dealer and direct operations. For additional information
 about Pitney Bowes, please visit our website at www.pitneybowes.com .
 
     Risk Factors
     Except for the historical information and discussions contained herein,
 statements contained in this release may constitute "forward-looking
 statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
 of 1995. These statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other
 factors, including without limitation, the cost and availability of
 intellectual property from third parties, decreases in the ability to attract
 and retain employees for the existing Bell & Howell, obtain capital, including
 interest rate risks, unexpected merger-related effects, timing and market
 conditions relating to the sale of the Mail & Messaging Technologies business
 as well as business execution risk and risk of new competitors, and any
 necessary regulatory approvals, decreases in funding for Internet access as
 well as overall acceptance and usage of the Internet in the education and
 library markets,  the availability of free or advertising supported research
 information on the Internet, decreases or shifts in mail volumes, rate of
 acceptance of electronic-based mailings, including effects of and rate of
 acceptance of internet-based solutions, including the automotive business,
 changes in the business services market, changes in the automotive industry,
 and general economic conditions, all of which could cause actual results to
 differ materially, and such other risks as discussed in the company's filings
 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
 
 SOURCE  Bell & Howell Company

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