BtoB

NEBS agrees to buy Business Systems

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Groton, Mass.--New England Business Service Inc., a b-to-b business forms and services direct marketer, Thursday announced it has agreed to acquire Dallas-based Safeguard Business Systems Inc., which sells checks and business forms, for $72.5 million in cash.

The transaction is expected to close in June 2003, subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals. Business Systems will become a subsidiary of NEBS.

The acquisition will allow NEBS, which has 2.5 million small-business customers, to expand its own line of check products, while also giving both businesses new customers for their products.

"The acquisition of Safeguard Business Systems will solidify NEBS' leadership position in serving the small-business market," said Robert J. Murray, NEBS chairman-CEO, in a statement.

--Carol Krol

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