Bad Soden, Germany,

Messer Group selects AT&T to provide Europe-wide Data Network

State-of-the-art technology, cost savings with increased performance ensure corporate network provides basis for future growth

Messer Group GmbH, one of the world's leading manufacturers of technical and medical gases, has commissioned AT&T to operate its new data communications network.The five-year, $8 million deal will see AT&T link over 100 Messer Group locations in more than 30 countries across Europe. The agreement with AT&T is part of the strategic restructuring of Messer's IT infrastructure, and is in addition to an outsourcing agreement with Accenture concluded in 2004 (Messer press release of July 8, 2004)."

In order to be able to grow profitably, our Group needs an IT infrastructure that has been optimized for our business processes but also generates cost savings,” said Dr. Hans-Gerd Wienands, Chief Financial Officer of the Messer Group. "Our new corporate network is faster, more stable and more secure than the previous solutions. It will also result in lower operating costs from 2006 onwards. "Messer Group recognized that the new corporate network would first and foremost help create competitive advantages. In the future, it will no longer be possible to modify existing business practices or to introduce new applications without utilizing the latest network technologies. This new infrastructure provides Messer Group with a key tool to support the targeted growth of the company," commented Martin Schütz, Vice President and country manager for AT&T Germany.

The Messer Group's new network, an Internet Protocol-based virtual private network (IP-VPN), will reflect the latest in state-of-the-art technology. This technology forms the basis for secure, stable, speed-adjustable connections. It is also flexible enough to incorporate business locations of all sizes and will make it possible to access business-critical applications from virtually any of the Group's locations, anywhere in the world.

AT&T's task will be to set up, control and monitor the network for Messer and to guarantee specific availability and performance criteria.

Further Information:
Niall Hickey
Phone: +44 20 766 35076
Mobile: +44 7715 77 1451