Barco Acquires Folsom Research

Barco has acquired Folsom Research based in Sacramento, CA. According to Barco, the new entity, now known as Barco-Folsom, LLC, will combine their core strengths to provide technology leadership through continued investment in R&D and building long-term strategic alliances with rental and staging partners.

Folsom, which employs 75 associates, has $16.5 million in annual sales. Folsom's product lines cover solutions for image processing, image communication and image functionality and interactivity. In these dedicated markets, Folsom has a 30 percent share in the U.S. and 17 percent worldwide. As Barco has previously held a 4 percent market share in these segments, the acquisition is, according to Barco, a leap forward for Barco in providing total solutions beyond displays-only functionality.

The largest part of Folsom's sales are realized in the rental and staging market, which makes it a match for Barco. Barco has a hold on two segments of this market with its LED displays and its large venue projectors. The acquisition of Folsom also allows Barco the opportunity to become an important player in the market segment of solutions beyond displays, thus enabling additional growth in the events market.

Since Folsom is also active in radar, presentation and simulation applications, this acquisition allows for synergies with other business units of Barco, as well.

Barco, based in Kortrijk, Belgium, announced in late January that it met its targets for 4Q03 results, despite a 19 percent year-over-year depreciation of the U.S. dollar. Orders were up 19 percent to 188.3 million, at the high end of the expected range of 175-190 million. Net income before restructuring charges, goodwill and extraordinary charges was approximately 54 million, compared to 54.4 million in 2002. Net result was approximately 46 million. In 2002, net result was much lower at 17.7 million due to extraordinary charges resulting from the reduction on the participation in the graphic activities. Barco is active in three key areas of imaging technology. Barco designs and develops solutions for large-screen visualization, display solutions for life-critical applications and systems for visual inspection. Barco has a network of subsidiaries, distributors and agents in almost 100 countries.

Folsom Research
www.folsom.com