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Bell Microproducts Europe Inc., a leading international value-added provider of a wide range of high technology products, solutions and services, today announced that the Bell Group has acquired the privately held Touch The Progress Group BV (TTPG), headquartered in the Netherlands. TTPG will strengthen Bell Microproducts European position in mid-range to high-end Enterprise level storage and storage management solutions, adding technology, infrastructure, and support services to its strategic effort.

TTPG designs, manufacturers, markets and supports high performance and tailor made storage solutions, critical to success in high availability mid-range and high-end enterprise computing environments. TTPG's product offerings consist of Enterprise Storage Systems, SAN (Storage Area Networks) & NAS (Network Attach Storage) Solutions, Storage Management Software and Specialised Storage Services.

Wessel Graatsma and Willem Manten, managing directors of TTPG, comment: "TTPG is very excited about our future growth potential working with, and being part of, Bell Microproducts Europe. The acquisition by Bell is strategic for both companies and it allows TTPG to leverage Bell’s strengths. TTPG's industry knowledge, customer relationships, and technical expertise in storage and storage management solutions combined with Bell's storage-centric focus and full coverage of the western hemisphere, creates a complementary strategy for growth in value-added storage and storage management products, solutions and services, and the capability to expand into new markets. With the support of Bell Microproducts Europe, we will be able to seek out and seize a broader range of European enterprise storage opportunities."

Ian French, president of Bell Microproduct Europe, comments on the acquisition: “TTPG is highly respected in Europe as a serious value-added mid-range and high-end provider of storage and storage management solutions with a high level of specialisation and support. Our Bell Europe storage solutions program has thus far been centred on U.K.-based Ideal Hardware which is heavily involved in enterprise storage via its UniSolve program, and on SAN and Fibre Channel solutions provider Rorke Data which has locations in the Netherlands and Italy.” Ian concludes: “TTPG is a great addition to Bell Europe and represents a further step in our ongoing program to position Bell Europe as the leading enterprise storage player in its regions.”

TTPG serves the European market via a comprehensive network of subsidiaries, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), business partners (VARs), integrators and system houses in Western and Central Europe. The company offers an extensive portfolio of storage solutions from some of the world's leading manufacturers. This portfolio allows TTPG and its business partners to provide a total storage management solution for multiple heterogeneous computing platforms, including IBM, SUN Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, Compaq and other leading manufacturers. TTPG is organised into four business units: Systems, Technology, Software and Services.

Their Systems unit offers the full range of IBM Open Storage solutions including Seascape, Enterprise Storage Server (ESS), Network Storage manager (NSM), Serial Storage Architecture (SSA), and other Open Storage products. Their Technology unit targets OEMs, VARs and Systems Integrators with state-of-the-art storage solutions, including a Storage Demo Centre, offering a complete range of customised demonstrations, workshops and hands-on training. The Software unit offers IBM's state-of-the-art enterprise data backup, disaster recovery and storage management products, including Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) and StorWatch. The Services unit offers a team of storage experts with a clear focus on planning and consultancy, installation, implementation and training in the field of storage management solutions.

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For further information please contact:

Wai Tang
Bell Microproducts Europe
020 8286 5148
wtang@ideal.co.uk


Mellissa Dorrell
Bell Microproducts Press Office
020 7375 3633
mdorrell@metro-media.co.uk


Editors Notes:

About Touch the Progress Group BV (TTPG)

Founded in 1991 and employing 65 people, TTPG designs, manufacturers, markets and supports high performance and tailor made storage solutions, critical to success in high availability mid-range and high-end enterprise computing environments. TTPG's product offerings consist of Enterprise Storage Systems, SAN (Storage Area Networks) & NAS (Network Attach Storage) Solutions, Storage Management Software and Specialized Storage Services. TTPG has offices in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Austria. TTPG's sales of storage and storage management products were approximately $55 million in 2000, up from $31 million in 1999, and the enterprise storage company has been profitable since its founding in 1991. More information can be found by visiting TTPG's Web site at http://www.ttp-int.com.

Bell Microproducts Inc is an international value-added provider of a wide range of high technology products, solutions, and services to the industrial and commercial marketplace. The company's offering includes semiconductors, computer platforms, peripherals, and storage products of various types including desktop, high-end computer and storage subsystems, fibre channel connectivity products, RAID, NAS and SAN storage systems and back-up products. Bell Microproducts is an industry-recognized specialist in storage products and is one of the world's largest storage-centric value-added distributors. The company's products are available at any level of integration from components, to subsystem assemblies, to fully integrated, tested and certified system solutions. The company adds value with a broad range of services including testing, software loading, kitting, mass storage system integration, and computer system integration. Trained and certified technical personnel complete each of these processes at Bell Microproducts' ISO 9002 facilities. Bell Microproducts markets and distributes more than 150 brand name product lines, as well as its own BellStor storage and Trademark(R) computer brands, to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), contract electronic manufacturing services (EMS) customers, value-added resellers (VARs) and system integrators in the Americas and Europe. More information can be found in SEC filings, or by visiting the Bell Microproducts Web site at http://www.bellmicro.com


Note: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements, which reflect the Company's current views of future events and financial performance, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results or facts to differ materially from such statements for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: the ability to successfully integrate the operations of recent acquisitions, industry conditions, changes in product supply, pricing, and customer demand, competition, other vagaries in the computer and electronic components markets, changes in relationships with key suppliers, foreign currency fluctuations and the other risks and information described from time to time in the company's reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (including the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and Current Reports on Form 8-K regarding this and other transactions). Investors should take such risks into account when making investment decisions. Shareholders and other readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. The company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements.



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