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ODS acquires Deluxe's US manufacturing plant

Rank, the UK-based leading European gaming business, that owns the Deluxe Media Services plant in North Little Rock, Arkansas, has sold its entire DVD manufacturing and distribution operation to ODS Optical Disc Service Inc. of Germany, thus exiting the DVD manufacturing business for Hollywood studios.

The North Little Rock DVD facility is one of the largest DVD manufacturing and distribution operations in the US with 22 DVD replication lines, mastering, printing and packaging in a 712,000 sq. ft. building. This gives the North Little Rock facility a manufacturing and packaging capacity of well over 150 million DVDs per year and distribution capacity exceeding 1 million units per day.

The sale includes the assets of Deluxe plant in North Little Rock, which employs about 500. About 200 have already been let go. Marc Haynes, the plant human resources manager, told that ODS needs to secure a major DVD deal with a US company before it can determine whether it can rehire employees.

Haynes said the plant expects to know something by mid-January. It is not certain what the future of the plant will be if ODS does not secure a deal.

As part of the asset deal ODS has acquired the DVD manufacturing licenses issued by MPEG-LA and 6C/Toshiba. After litigation with MPEG-LA in Europe about the validity of patents and the size of royalty payments, the ODS Group's manufacturing operations in the US, the UK and in Germany have now agreed to be MPEG-LA and 6C/Toshiba licensees for their entire DVD production.

Story filed 03.01.07

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