London Publisher Quarto to Take Offers for Acquisition Soon

November 1, 2003
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November 1-15, 2003 Edition

London Publisher Quarto

to Take Offers for Acquisition Soon

LONDON/10/22/03—Following a takeover bid by JO Hambro Capital Management that began this past summer, international publisher Quarto Group will receive offers for the sale of the company from several bidders, hopefully closing a deal by the end of December.

In an October 15 press release, J O Hambro Capital Management Limited (“JOHCM”) announced that JOHCM has postponed the closing date of its takeover offer, which had been scheduled in July, to allow the Quarto board time to assess the options for optimizing the company value for shareholders. Quarto’s board was said to be examining a range of strategic options for the Company. Hambro has given Quarto until December 18, 2003 to find a suitable option.

Quarto’s International Co-edition Book Publishing Division last year increased its operating profit to £1.62m (2002: £1.25m) on a turnover up 9.3% at £16.4m (2002: 15.0m), following recovery from 9/11 induced uncertainties.

The Publishing Division generated a reduced operating profit of £0.84m 2002: £1.60m) on a turnover down 20.8% at £13.3m (2002: £16.8m), reflecting mainly the previously disclosed loss in July 2002 of the UK publishing services business’ largest customer but also the impact of the Iraqi war on retail activity in the US in the second quarter, especially in comparison with the unexpectedly benign retail environment of the first half of 2002.

Company executives said the 2003 Interim Results are “right on budget and Quarto continues on plan to meet market expectations for 2003 as a whole.”

Quarto’s International Co-edition Book Publishing Division creates books which are licensed to other publishers for publication internationally. It also includes Regent and ProVision, which are Far East-based print brokering and production services businesses, serving both third parties and the Group.

Quarto’s Publishing Division primarily publishes books, under imprints owned by the Group, and art prints, mainly for their domestic markets in the US and Australia. In addition, it includes two UK-based screen printers primarily serving the point of sale display market, Western and AP Screen.

Although a Delaware registered corporation, Quarto’s Head Office is situated in Islington, London N7 and its shares are fully listed on the London Stock Exchange.

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