LOS ANGELES, April 24, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) announced today that it has acquired Mannesmann Dematic Postal Automation S.A. (MDPA), a leading European-based manufacturer of postal sorting equipment. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

MDPA will be known as Solystic S.A., a Northrop Grumman company, and will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of the corporation. Solystic, which has approximately 700 employees, will report into the Automation and Information Systems Division (A&IS), a business unit of the company's Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector (ES3), headquartered in Baltimore, Md.

The Solystic business base complements Northrop Grumman's position in automation and systems integration for postal service and parcel courier sortation and delivery customers. In addition, the acquisition will provide further international growth for A&IS.

Solystic has a worldwide presence with customers in more than 20 countries. Key customers include La Poste in France, the United Kingdom and the United States Postal Service (USPS).

"Solystic's core capabilities and strong international customer base are an excellent fit for our business," said Mitch Mroz, vice president of Northrop Grumman's A&IS Division. "ES3 continues to focus on high-growth businesses that dovetail with, and enhance, our business strategies."

Pierre Andre Barriere, president and chief executive officer of Solystic, said, "We will continue to grow as we combine resources to further enhance our ongoing relationships with our postal customers worldwide."

Solystic is recognized as the world leader of flat mail (magazines, catalogs and circulars) automation equipment. A key product of the French-based company is the AFSM-100, known in Europe as TOP FSM, a machine that sorts "flats" at more than twice the speed and at less operating cost than existing USPS flat sorters.

The AFSM-100 is currently being built and installed by a team comprising Rapistan Systems and Northrop Grumman A&IS. The team is currently under contract with USPS to install 537 machines throughout the United States. Additionally, the team has a contract with the British Royal Mail to deploy the next generation of flats sorting machine, the TOP 2000, a system with a capacity of 40,000 pieces per hour.

Other Solystic products include STAR, a letter sortation system capable of sorting 53,000 pieces of mail an hour; MARS, a local post office delivery point sequencing system; and advanced optical character recognition and video encoding equipment and software.

Northrop Grumman Automation & Information Systems has been providing automation design, equipment fabrication, field deployment, and logistics support to the USPS for more than 11 years. Solystic has been a leader in the postal automation market for nearly 50 years. This acquisition builds upon the existing solid base of business and positions Northrop Grumman and Solystic to grow together into the future.

Northrop Grumman's ES3 is a leading designer, systems integrator and manufacturer of defense electronics and systems, airspace management systems, marine systems, precision weapons, space systems, logistics services, and automation and information systems.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $15 billion, global aerospace and defense company with its worldwide headquarters in Los Angeles. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in defense and commercial electronics, systems integration, information technology and non-nuclear shipbuilding and systems. With 80,000 employees and operations in 44 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.

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