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    Schneider Electric takes a major step into the emergency lighting market through the acquisition of the Italian Group OVA thus enhancing its ultra-terminal offer

    Rueil Malmaison, France – February 28, 2006 – Schneider Electric has signed an agreement to acquire 100% of the Italian Group OVA G. Bargellini SpA.

    OVA operates in the emergency lighting market, with leading positions in Italy and a strong presence across the rest of Europe. The company is also active in the wiring devices business, through electrical components such as portable socket-outlets, plugs and adapters. For 2005, OVA's revenues are expected to be above €60 million, with an operating margin around 13%.

    With this acquisition Schneider Electric adds a full and innovative range of emergency lighting luminaries and systems to its existing low voltage offer. Schneider Electric will sell OVA's products through its powerful commercial network, especially in Europe, enabling therefore to reinforce its positions on the building market by proposing more complete solutions.

    Since it was founded in 1963, OVA has gained a strong reputation for its technological leadership with notably capabilities in the LED promising technology, and will therefore become Schneider Electric's competency center for emergency lighting products.

    Christian Wiest, Executive Vice-President of Schneider Electric's Europe Operating Division, commented: "The emergency lighting business fits perfectly with our core business model and is complementary to our catalogue addressing the Building market. The acquisition of OVA will enable Schneider Electric to take a leading position on this business."

    Giulio Bargellini, CEO of OVA Group, added: "I'm convinced that Schneider Electric is the best partner for OVA. OVA technology and Schneider Electric commercial network are definitely the ideal assets to develop the business."

    Subject to regulatory approvals, the transaction should be finalised in the second quarter of 2006. Schneider Electric is very confident that this acquisition will meet its Return on Capital Employed criteria within 3 years from completion.

    About OVA
    Based near Bologna-Italy, OVA offers a vaste and innovative range of emergency lighting and emergency power products and systems but also wiring devices like portable socket-outlets, plugs and adapters. With around 250 employees, the company has built its development on a high quality production process and the application of unique and evolved know-how and technologies.

    About Schneider Electric
    Schneider Electric is the world's power and control leader. Through its world-class brands, Merlin Gerin, Square D and Telemecanique, Schneider Electric manufactures and markets a comprehensive range of products and services for the residential, buildings, industry and energy and infrastructure markets. With 88,670 employees and operations in 130 countries, Schneider Electric generated sales of €11.7 billion in 2005 through 13,000 distributor outlets.

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