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Eklin Medical Systems, Inc. Acquires Merlin Digital Technology from Banfield, the Pet Hospital(R)

Banfield Forms Strategic Partnership with Eklin to Develop Digital Imaging Equipment for Largest Private Veterinary Hospital Network

PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Banfield, The Pet Hospital(R) today announced that it has sold Merlin Digital Technology to Eklin Medical Systems, Inc. and has entered into a strategic alliance with Eklin to develop digital imaging equipment for Banfield's network of hospitals across the country. Merlin Digital Technology, which was founded in 1991 under the name RemoteVet, has helped advance veterinary telemedicine with its digital ultrasound and radiography systems. All assets associated with Merlin's imaging products will be included in the sale to Eklin.

"At Banfield, we have a longstanding commitment to giving Pets the same care we want for ourselves, making the best medical diagnostic devices available to our Pet patients," says John Payne, president and chief executive officer, Banfield, The Pet Hospital. "Our partnership with Eklin is a natural extension of our focus to expand upon our strong commitment to high-quality veterinary medicine. Eklin's integrated high-quality imaging modalities, electronic storage and communications products and practice management solutions are revolutionizing the way veterinary practices create, read and share diagnostic information."

Eklin currently offers either a 9"x11" direct DR imaging sensor panel for large animal extremities, or a 14"x17" DR sensor panel which provides the largest full imaging surface in the market and is equally suitable for large dogs or small cats. In addition to the Banfield hospital network, the new CCD system will bring several advantages associated with digital x-ray to a large number of other practices.

"We are delighted to be a partner with Banfield," says Gary R. Cantu, founder and CEO of Eklin. "The acquisition of Merlin will allow us to add a number of new products to our line and to begin delivering a more fully integrated solution to Banfield and its many hospitals."

The Merlin technology is designed specifically for veterinary care use. The digital image can be easily enhanced and reprocessed for greater diagnostic confidence.

"This acquisition will allow us to create a retrofitable digital capture product for practices of all sizes," says William Hornof, Eklin's chief medical officer. "Applying Eklin's resources and know-how to the Merlin product line will significantly increase image quality, consistency and overall ease of use."

Banfield has always been committed to providing its doctors and paraprofessionals with the best in veterinary medical diagnostic and monitoring devices as well as education and training. Eklin shares in this commitment which makes it a natural fit for achieving this goal.

"We are excited to leverage Eklin's leading edge technology," says Karen K. Faunt, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM (Small Animal), vice president and chief medical officer, Banfield, The Pet Hospital. "Eklin's technology allows our doctors to capture both dynamic and static high-definition digital images while supporting excellent patient care."

About Banfield, The Pet Hospital(R)

Founded in Portland, Oregon, in 1955, Banfield has become the largest Pet general veterinary practice in the world, with 725 quality veterinary hospitals in many neighborhoods across the U.S., in the U.K. and in Mexico. More than 1,500 veterinarians at Banfield are committed to giving Pets the same level of care that their human family members receive. Banfield hospitals offer a full-range of comprehensive medical services, computerized medical records, Pet preventive care plans and extended operating hours. Banfield is the only veterinary practice in the world with an extensive quality assurance program. Banfield, The Pet Hospital helps extend the lives of millions of Pets each year. For journalists seeking more information, please visit our press room at http://www.banfield.net/press-room or contact our Media Hotline at 888-355-0595 (no sales calls please).

About Eklin Medical Systems, Inc.

With thousands of systems installed in private practices and universities around the globe, Eklin Medical Systems, Inc. is one of the world's leading providers of veterinary PACS, practice management software (VIA), ultrasound and digital radiography products. Clients include more than 90 percent of U.S. veterinary schools of medicine, such as UC Davis, University of Ohio, Pennsylvania State and Texas A&M. Numerous Zoos and Marine facilities, including San Diego, Los Angeles, Bronx, SeaWorld and the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Training Center, also employ Eklin Technology. Eklin is a privately-held company with reported sales revenues in excess of $35 million in 2007 and is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. The company can be contacted at 800-819-5538 or visit http://www.eklin.com.

    Contacts:
    Kathy Baumgardner, Senior Director, Practice Communications, Banfield, The
    Pet Hospital(R) 503-922-5479
    Media Hotline, Banfield, The Pet Hospital(R) 888-355-0595

    Laurie Hallwyler, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Eklin Medical
    Systems 650-248-9081

SOURCE Banfield, The Pet Hospital(R)

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