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ATS grows in Europe

December 22, 1999 | Acquisitions
TSE Symbol: ATA

CAMBRIDGE, ON, Dec. 22 /CNW/ - ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. has further strengthened its presence in Europe by acquiring an automation systems division of ALSTOM, located in Bourgoin-Jallieu, France. The final purchase price will be determined based on the division's closing financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2000, however it is not expected to exceed Canadian $10 million.

The acquired business, to be renamed ATS Automation France, currently designs and produces automated manufacturing systems mainly for customers in the automotive industry. Established in 1974, the business is a profitable operation with annual revenues of approximately Euros 10 million (Canadian $15 million), 66 employees and is ISO 9001 certified.

"This acquisition is an excellent addition to our growing profile in Europe," said ATS President and Chief Executive Officer Klaus Woerner, who added that the European market offers considerable long-term potential for ATS. "We have acquired another successful business, one with a strong reputation among customers serving the European automotive sector. We are particularly pleased with the greatly improved access ATS has gained to French based multinational customers."

Mr. Woerner added that this is the second acquisition made by ATS in Europe this year, having acquired Rettinger GmbH, a producer of automated manufacturing and test systems in Munich, Germany, this past July.

"In both cases, we have acquired strong management and proven automation capabilities and the acquisitions are highly complementary to existing ATS operations in Berlin, Germany and Zurich, Switzerland. As a result, ATS now has a very impressive range of capabilities resident in Europe and is very well positioned to meet the demanding automation needs of multinational customers operating in the region."

ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (Internet website address: www.atsautomation.com) is one of North America's leading designers and producers of turn-key automated manufacturing and test systems, which are used primarily by multinational corporations operating in a variety of industries: automotive, computer/electronics, consumer products and healthcare. The Company also makes precision components and sub-assemblies using its own custom-built manufacturing systems, process knowledge and automation technology. ATS employs approximately 2,700 people at 23 facilities in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The Company's shares are traded on The Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ATA.

Certain forward looking statements are made in this news release, including statements regarding possible future business. Investors are cautioned that such forward looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, continued acceptance of ATS' products, technologies, customer requirements and other risks detailed from time to time in ATS' periodic reports filed with Canadian regulatory authorities.

For further information:
Carl Galloway, ATS Corporate Treasurer
(519) 653-6500