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Linedata Services reinforces its financial structure in order to accelerate its growth

Linedata Services today announced plans to carry out a EUR 21 million reserved capital increase to accelerate its external growth program. This capital increase is subject to approval by the French market authorities and by shareholders at the Mixed (ordinary and extraordinary) General Meeting on June 28, 2004.

New shareholders buy into the company…
Linedata Services plans to issue 1,312,500 new shares at EUR 16 per share, for a total of EUR 21 million, reserved for new shareholders: FFP (Société Foncière, Financière et de Participations-FFP, a holding company controlled by Peugeot family, quoted on the Premier Marché), for EUR 15 million, and three innovation investment funds (FCPI) managed by CDC Ixis Innovation, for EUR 6 million.

The FCPI are now authorized to invest in the company’s capital since Linedata Services was awarded ANVAR certification on April 23, 2004. The new partners will join the existing shareholders’ agreement.

At the same time, in order to involve current shareholders in the operation, the Management Board will be submitting plans to the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (Financial Markets Authority) to grant current shareholders free subscription rights with similar terms to those offered to the new partners. Completion of this transaction is subject to AMF approval of a prospectus describing its terms in full.

…in order to accelerate the company’s development and enhance its position as a global player

This investment in the group's capital by new shareholders represents a major step in Linedata Services’ development and will provide the company with financial means commensurate with its objectives. According to its strategic plan, Linedata Services expects to achieve sales of EUR 200 million by 2006 (vs EUR 100.3 million in FY 2003), resulting from sustained organic growth and an active acquisition policy.

Linedata Services has identified various potential targets within its three areas of expertise. Several targets are currently being considered. With nine successful acquisitions since its creation in 1998, Linedata Services has proven its ability to integrate companies without compromising profitability which has grown steadily, with an operating margin that reached 16.6% of sales in FY 2003.

Recognized as a unifying hub in an increasingly-concentrated sector, Linedata Services intends to strengthen its European leadership in its three areas of business expertise and establish itself as one of the top three players in its markets globally.

Linedata Services will publish its first-half sales figures for 2004 on July 27, 2004.