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    Schneider Electric Enters Into A Cooperation With ELAU AG To Achieve Together Worldwide Leadership In Automation Solutions For Packaging Machines

    Rueil-Malmaison (France), March 18, 2004 – Schneider Electric and ELAU AG announced today a close cooperation in the automation of packaging machines. To manifest this cooperation, Schneider Electric acquires a 46,5% stake in ELAU AG Germany. A shareholders’ agreement is ruling future relationships.

    Both partners aim to meet the requirements of the global acting players of the consumer goods’ industry. By bundling their technology and taking advantage of their worldwide network they will offer their customers a superior product and service portfolio.

    This transaction responds to three key aspects of Schneider Electric’s strategy:
    > The acceleration of growth in the packaging OEM machine market,
    > The widening of its offer in the Motion Control field,
    > The enhancement of its presence in the German Industrial Automation market.

    > Partnership with ELAU AG, Germany
    ELAU AG is the technology leader in the automation of packaging machines in Europe and has achieved remarkable growth over the past years.

    The strategic partnership with Schneider Electric will provide an excellent opportunity for ELAU AG to
    expand its strong growth outside Europe in the American and Asian markets.

    For ELAU AG this means:
    > Accelerating its business growth,
    > Maintaining its market identity as technology leader in Packaging,
    > Creating a worldwide engineering and service network for its customers in the machine industry,
    > An even stronger access to global players of the consumer goods’ industry,
    > Exciting and challenging opportunities for its employees to leverage and expand their expertise and sphere of influence.

    Schneider Electric offers ELAU AG expanded geographical access, a complete product catalogue, financial stability backed by a willingness to invest in the success of this business, combined with proven experience at implementing strategic initiatives.

    > About ELAU AG
    Based in Marktheidenfeld, Germany, ELAU has 250 employees and offices in Italy and USA.
    ELAU AG produces servomotors, controls and drives. In 2003 the company’s sales was
    EUR 33 million with an operating margin of 10% .

    Schneider Electric
    Giving the best of the New Electric World
    To everyone, everywhere, at any time

    Schneider Electric is the world’s power and control specialist. Through its world-class brands, Merlin Gerin, Square D and Telemecanique, Schneider Electric anticipates and satisfies its customers’ requirements in the residential, buildings, industry and energy and infrastructure markets. With 74,814 employees, Schneider Electric generated sales of euros 8.7 billion in 2003 through 13,000 sales outlets in 130 countries.