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    First European electrical installation portal

    ABB, Alcatel, Legrand, Philips Lighting and Schneider Electric, five key players in the construction and electrical installation market, have decided to unite their skills to launch the first European electrical installation portal for construction industry professionals.

    The mission of the portal is to provide broad based information and services to all professionals in the electrical installation market in order to help wholesalers, installers, specifiers (such as architects and consulting engineers) and building owners to save time and work more efficiently.

    Construction industry professionals will get a better understanding of the manufacturers’ product portfolios, be able to quickly choose the most appropriate products for their projects and benefit from an array of personalized services. Requests for proposals and product orders will be handled by the usual distribution networks.

    This portal is intended for all Europe. It will be deployed by country, and will be available in all national languages. A locally managed subsidiary will be created for each country making available up-to-the-minute product information and services online according to local needs. This system will be open to other manufacturers, distributors, trade organizations, media groups and practical services. The parent company will set the portal’s strategic guidelines, handle creative content and platform upgrades and manage the local portal companies.

    The initial investment around EUR 20 million will be divided equally among ABB, Alcatel, Legrand, Philips Lighting and Schneider Electric.

    France Telecom is the technological partner of this portal. It contributes a strong R&D expertise and internet know how to the portal's development, as well as the enhancement of its services.

    Available to subscribers only, the portal should gradually come on line across Europe in the second quarter of 2001.

    About our partners

    > ABB
    The ABB Group serves customers in power transmission and distribution; automation; oil, gas and petrochemicals; building technologies;and in financial services. With novel IT applications, tailored software solutions, growing eBusiness and a fast expanding knowledge and service base, ABB is building links to the new economy. The ABB Group employs about 160,000 people in more than 100 countries.
    In the area of Low Voltage Products and Systems ABB offers a comprehensive range of products and solutions for industrial and building applications. For building applications in particular ABB delivers among other things breakers, switches, protection and control equipment, enclosures and wiring accessories.

    For more information, visit ABB on Internet: www.abb.com

    > Alcatel
    Alcatel builds next generation networks, delivering integrated end-to-end voice and data communications solutions to established and new carriers, as well as enterprises and consumers worldwide. With 120,000 employees and sales of EURO 23 billion in 1999, Alcatel operates in more than 130 countries. In the field of telecommunications and power cables, Alcatel offers products, systems and services that meet the growing requirements of three main markets : infrastructure, industry and construction. The batteries and components businesses also form part of this strategy of a global approach to markets, offering integrated solutions for clients who operate on an increasingly international basis.

    For more information, visit Alcatel on Internet: www.alcatel.com

    > Legrand
    The Legrand Group is leader in the field of electrical fittings and accessories for low voltage installations.Legrand's mission is to offer electrical installers all over the world all the products they need to install electricity in the housing, commercial and industrial sectors: consumer units and cabinets, MCBs and MCCBs, wire management products (trunking, andskirting ), switchesand socket outlets, dimmers, datacom sockets, patch panels, alarms, emergency lighting, electronic control boxes, enclosures and industrial sockets, etc. Legrand is pursuing an active policy of innovation, especially in the field of communication, security and Voice Data Image (V.D.I.) products, which will represent 17% of its total sales in 2000. Legrand's commercial policy is based on a close relationship with wholesalers and active promotion to electrical installers, contractors, panel builders and specifiers. Legrand markets its products in more than 100 countries, and is represented in 54countries. It will employ in 2000 (proforma) more than 27,000 people worldwide and will generatnearly 3/4 of its sales (3 billion euros) on international markets. The group is listed on the Paris Stock Market.

    For more information, visit Legrand on Internet: www.legrandelectric.com

    > Philips Lighting
    Philips Lighting, a division of Royal Philips Electronics with its headquarters in Eindhoven in the Netherlands, is number one in the global lighting market. Company products include a full range of incandescent and halogen lamps, compact and normal fluorescent lamps, high-intensity gas-discharge and special lamps, fixtures, ballasts, lighting electronics, automotive lamps and batteries. Philips Lighting employs some 50,000 people worldwide in 60 countries and achieved sales of EUR 4.6 billion in 1999.

    For more information, visit Philips Lighting on Internet: www.eur.lighting.philips.com