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Siemens Acquires Oxford Instruments' Stake In Oxford Magnet Technology

London, November 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Siemens and Oxford Instruments plc, ("Oxford Instruments") the advanced instrumentation company, announced today that Siemens is to acquire the remaining 49 per cent of Oxford Magnet Technology from Oxford Instruments in a deal worth GBP9.1 million.

Siemens, which currently owns 51 per cent of Oxford Magnet Technology, is exercising its right under a joint venture agreement to acquire Oxford Instruments' share of the company. The total cash consideration represents the value of the shareholding and ongoing use of certain intellectual property. The transaction is subject to formal regulatory approval under German competition law. The funds will be held on deposit by Oxford Instruments pending re-investment.

Oxford Magnet Technology was founded in 1982 by Oxford Instruments to commercialise its proprietary technology for magnets and accessories used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) bodyscanners. In 1989, it became a joint venture between Siemens (51%) and Oxford Instruments (49%). Customers include both Siemens and other third-party customers. OMT now employs 700 people at its factory in Eynsham, near Oxford, and is a world leader in superconducting MRI magnets.

Siemens had already indicated an intent to exercise its right under the joint venture agreement to increase its shareholding when the initial 15-year term of the joint venture ends in September 2004. Following a review of priorities for future development of their respective activities, both shareholders agreed it was in their mutual interests to terminate the joint venture and accelerate Siemens' acquisition of the business. OMT now becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Siemens plc.

As part of the agreement, key trading relationships between Oxford Instruments, OMT and Siemens will continue, covered by extended long-term contracts. Consequently, Oxford Instruments will continue to supply Siemens with superconducting wire, specialised field support in the USA and distribution services in Japan relating to MRI magnets, such that Siemens will remain a significant customer for Oxford Instruments. Siemens retains the right to use certain pre-existing Oxford Instruments technology and know-how for MRI applications. Oxford Instruments retains the right to use intellectual property developed by OMT during the period of the joint venture.

Dr. Erich R. Reinhardt, member of the board of Siemens AG and CEO and president of Siemens Medical Solutions: "I am particularly delighted that we were able to accelerate this acquisition as it extends our commitment to a market where we already have a clear leadership position."

Andrew Mackintosh, chief executive of Oxford Instruments plc, said: "Over its 14 year lifetime, the OMT joint venture, founded on Oxford Instruments' technology, has generated significant shareholder value for both Oxford Instruments and Siemens. I am delighted that we have now reached an agreement with Siemens going forward that preserves and enhances our trading relationships, as well as allowing Oxford Instruments to pursue the full range of market opportunities for superconducting magnets - an area where we are recognised as the technology world leader."

Alan Wood, chief executive of Siemens in the UK, said: "The acquisition announced today is a logical step that fits well with our strategic growth plans. It demonstrates our strong commitment to high-technology research and expands Siemens' UK manufacturing base from which we export globally."

In the year to 31 March 2003, Oxford Instruments' share of the pre-tax profits of OMT was GBP1.2 million and the balance sheet value of its 49 per cent shareholding in OMT amounted to GBP1.8 million as at 31 March 2003.

Since it was formed in 1982, Oxford Magnet Technology has won six Queens Awards recognising the significant export growth and technological achievement over the last 14 years. OMT exports 97 per cent of its systems. OMT's factory is currently undergoing a 30,000 sq ft expansion to take account of growing demand and to improve manufacturing workflow.

OMT has an impressive list of technical "firsts" including the world's first actively shielded magnets, which enable much easier positioning of MRI systems in hospitals. To date, OMT has shipped more than 7,000 magnets with installations in more than 100 countries. More than a third of MRI scanners installed in hospitals around the world have a superconducting magnet designed and manufactured by Oxford Magnet Technology at their core.

MRI is an extremely powerful diagnostic imaging technique used to provide images of the internal structure of the human body, including the heart and the mapping of brain functions.

Notes to editors:

Oxford Magnet Technology Ltd

Oxford Magnet Technology was a joint venture between Siemens (51%) and Oxford Instruments (49%), founded in 1989, which manufactures magnets and accessories used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) body scanners. Customers include both Siemens and other third-party customers.

Oxford Instruments plc

Oxford Instruments is a global leader in advanced instrumentation. It is a recognised world leader in several technologies, including the application of superconductivity, the creation of low temperatures, the production and detection of X-rays and in neurological measurements. The company's products are used around the world in healthcare, semiconductor processing, scientific research, industrial chemical analysis and quality control. Its customers include most of the world's major international companies as well as the leading hospitals and research institutes.

Born out of Oxford University, with over 40 years of continuous product development, Oxford Instruments today comprises three businesses: Medical, Analytical and Superconductivity.

Siemens plc

With an annual turnover of GBP2.6 billion, and 18,000 employees, Siemens in the United Kingdom provides innovative, high quality services and solutions to customers in a diverse range of industry sectors comprising: power, automation and control, information and communication, medical, transportation, lighting and household. Established in the UK in 1843, Siemens operates through a de-centralised structure and its headquarters is in Bracknell, Berkshire. The company made a significant contribution to the economy through its export performance, which totalled GBP424 million in 2001-02.

SOURCE Siemens and Oxford Instruments

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