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Electronics Production | March 10, 2006

Bull and NEC in industrial partnership

French software firm Bull and NEC confirm new industrial partnership arrangements in the IT systems security marketplace.
Bull will enter into a new industrial partnership with NEC. This first step of the new partnership between NEC and Bull has just been completed and involves NEC and Evidian, Bull's subsidiary specializing in IT systems security, and is twofold:

NEC will make a €10 million investment in Bull Evidian to expand its product line in security area and strengthen its solution business in Europe.

- A €3 million direct equity investment in Evidian, giving NEC an 8% stake in Evidian. For its part, Bull will use this investment to add to its existing portfolio, on an OEM basis, new offers coming from NEC security portfolio.

- A further investment of €7 million, in the form of 5-year maturity convertible bonds, designed to support the international development of Evidian. The conversion of the bonds will be triggered by Evidian's operating performance in 2007-2008. After the conversion, NEC's overall stake in Evidian will not exceed 20 %. Both of these investments were made on 31 January 2006.

The two groups will be working together to enhance their products and solutions and expand their offering portfolio within the framework of two OEM partnership agreements.
The aim of these agreements is for NEC to increase its penetration on the European security market leveraging Evidian's market access and for Evidian to increase its business in targeted Asian countries with its identity and access management offer, using NEC's strong position in these geographies.

"This partnership gives us a real opportunity to further develop Bull Evidian and capitalize on a relationship with a respected, world-renowned partner and will open up new doors for the business on Asian markets", said Jean Pierre Barbéris, Managing Director Bull Services and Solutions. "At the same time, Bull Evidian will be strengthening its offerings with NEC's additions in its IAM business."

"This partnership enables NEC to offer its security products via Evidian in Europe, allowing us to expand our solutions business there," said Mr. Koichi Ikumi, Senior Vice President at NEC. "We have every confidence that our investment will contribute to the enhancement of Evidian's products, spurring its additional growth, in turn benefiting both companies."

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