Vistaprint and Plaza Create Agree to Joint Venture in Japan

- Joint Venture Will Help Vistaprint Gain Local Presence in Japan and Will Expand Plaza Create Product Offering -

Business Wire

VENLO, the Netherlands & TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Vistaprint N.V. (VPRT), a leading online provider of professional marketing products and services to micro businesses and the home, and Plaza Create Co., Ltd., a leading Japanese retailer of photo products, announced the companies have entered into a definitive agreement to form a joint venture in Japan. The venture should strengthen both companies’ ability to serve Japanese customers through the combination of Vistaprint’s technology, manufacturing expertise and e-commerce experience with Plaza Create’s reputation for customer service and quality products, its knowledge of the Japanese market and its network of more than 600 retail outlets throughout the country.

Currently Plaza Create primarily services the home and family market. Its core offering includes photo prints, cameras, accessories and cloud-based photo storage services. But there are over 10 million self-employed people and small businesses in Japan and the joint venture will offer a broad array of home and family and small business marketing products both online and at Plaza Create’s retail stores.

“Vistaprint has built a strong initial base of business in Japan over the past few years, despite serving the market remotely,” said Robert Keane, president and chief executive officer of Vistaprint. “However we believe we must strengthen our commitment to Japan by building a strong domestic presence. We are excited to partner with Plaza Create to help achieve our mutual goals. Its stores are well known and trusted by consumers throughout Japan and we believe forming a joint venture will benefit the key constituents of both companies over the long term.”

Each company will contribute its Japanese online business to the joint venture, and products will also be available on computer kiosks within Plaza Create’s Palette Plaza and 55 Station stores throughout Japan. Upon the closing of the transaction, Robert Keane will serve as the joint venture’s chairman and a representative director, and Yasuhiro Oshima, president of Plaza Create, will serve as the joint venture’s president and a representative director.

“We are pleased to form this partnership with Vistaprint,” said Mr. Oshima. “The combination of our product offerings and unique skill sets will create a broad and compelling value proposition for both Japanese consumers and small businesses. Taking advantage of the relative strengths of our online and offline channels, we can offer comprehensive printing services with a high level of convenience, customer service and trust. Many of our customers are small business owners and Vistaprint is renowned for bringing innovative products to market at affordable prices. We look forward to enabling more small businesses in Japan to promote their business in a professional and affordable way, and to expanding and growing our customer value proposition through our joint venture.”

Subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, Vistaprint and Plaza Create will each invest approximately $5 million USD (500 million JPY) to form the new joint venture. In addition, Vistaprint will become a Plaza Create minority shareholder through the purchase of approximately $5 million USD of Plaza Create shares. The transaction is expected to be completed in February, 2014, at which point Vistaprint would become a 51% owner of the joint venture and Plaza Create would be a 49% owner. Vistaprint does not expect this transaction to have a material financial impact in fiscal 2014. Over time, we expect to jointly build a production facility in Japan in order to fulfill orders and better meet local delivery needs for our customers.

About Vistaprint
Vistaprint N.V. (VPRT) empowers more than 17 million micro businesses and consumers annually with affordable, professional options to make an impression. With a unique business model supported by proprietary technologies, high-volume production facilities, and direct marketing expertise, Vistaprint offers a wide variety of products and services that micro businesses can use to expand their business. A global company, Vistaprint employs over 4,100 people, operates more than 25 localized websites globally and ships to more than 130 countries around the world. Vistaprint's broad range of products and services are easy to access online, 24 hours a day at www.vistaprint.com.

About Plaza Create
In 1986, Plaza Create opened a ground-breaking photo-print shop, which changed the history of photo print and developed the era of speed-printing. Following that, it expanded the network of its shops throughout Japan with two brands, “Palette Plaza” and “55 Station,” and continued to challenge the development of production and services, taking advantage of knowledge accumulated through speed-printing and the expansion of chains. Plaza Create has approximately 600 shops all over Japan, and, in particular, in the Tokyo metropolitan area, it has a strong market share in respect of the number of photo-printing shops. In the online area, Plaza Create operates its online photo-printing service under the “Digipri” brand.

Vistaprint and the Vistaprint logo are trademarks of Vistaprint N.V. or its subsidiaries. All other brand and product names appearing on this announcement may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

This press release contains statements about the proposed joint venture and future expectations, plans and prospects of Vistaprint’s and the joint venture’s business that constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including but not limited to the anticipated timing for closing the transaction, the benefits and synergies of the joint venture, and the expected future business and success of the joint venture. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including but not limited to the parties’ ability to complete the proposed transaction, the receipt of any required regulatory or other approvals in connection with the transaction, the ability to realize anticipated synergies as a result of the transaction, the parties’ failure to collaborate effectively, the failure of the joint venture to acquire new customers and retain the parties’ current customers, the failure of the joint venture to perform as expected, competitive pressures, general economic conditions, and other factors described in Vistaprint’s Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2013 and the other documents that Vistaprint periodically files with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

In addition, the statements and projections in this press release represent the parties’ expectations and beliefs as of the date of this press release, and subsequent events and developments may cause these expectations, beliefs, and projections to change. The parties specifically disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our expectations or beliefs as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.

Contact:
For Vistaprint
Investor Relations:
Angela White, +1-781-652-6480
ir@vistaprint.com
or
Media Relations:
Kaitlin Ambrogio, +1-781-652-6444
publicrelations@vistaprint.com

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