CeWe Color to call in 600,000 own company shares

According to a press release, CeWe Color has undertaken two-thirds of the shift from conventional to digital photography. Over the past ten years, the company has invested more than EUR 150 million in setting up digital technologies and production capacities. CeWe Color reports an equity ratio of 43.3 % and cash flow of EUR 51.4 million as at December 31, 2005. The company intends to invest EUR 28 million in the business year of 2006. The investment budget will be fully financed by cash flow, the company said.

The registered share capital of CeWe Color Holding AG amounts to EUR 15.6 million and is divided up into six million denominated shares. A total of 600,000 own company shares at an average acquisition price of EUR 24.27 are being held by the company. The scheduled call in of 600,000 own company shares is an initial step aimed to optimize the financial structure of the CeWe Color Group and to provide shareholders with a higher dividend rate in the long term. At the Annual General Meeting on June 1, 2006, the Board of Management of CeWe Color Holding AG expects the buy-back of another 540,000 own company shares to be approved under item 5 of the agenda. The shares are for possible company takeovers, for the Stock Option Plan implemented in September 2005 (application volume: 199,500 shares) and for another call in. The Board of Management also intends to request a vote on another resolution on authorisation to acquire own company shares at the 2007 Annual General Meeting. CeWe Color will conduct a search for a consultant to assist the company in analyzing and conducting possible measures to optimize the financial structure of the company.

K Capital Partners, Boston (USA), and M2 Capital Management, New York (USA) are the biggest institutional investors in the company, holding more than 22 % of the registered share capital. Both investors have expressed long-term interest in CeWe Color, pointing out that hey are convinced of the success of the CeWe Color business model. The company offers favourably-priced, first-class quality digital photos via the Internet and more than 60,000 retail stores in Europe. David Marcus, Managing Partner with M2 Capital Management says: "Over the coming few years we expect to see growth in sales, profits and market capitalisation and we want to be part of the increase in value at CeWe Color." CeWe Color said the new major shareholders will be represented in the company‘s Supervisory Board as soon as possible.