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News Division of Xtreme Information Sold to Durants
Forming UK's Largest Media Monitoring Agency

LONDON, May 26, 2004 Durrants Press Cuttings Limited announced that it has acquired the news division of Xtreme Information Services Limited. The deal which also included a debt re-financing, is worth £17.5m. Durrants is part of Discovery Group and is backed by Kleinwort Capital Limited. Xtreme Information Services Limited, a leading global advertising monitoring and information company, is backed by Veronis Suhler Stevenson Inc. Senior debt for the transaction is from Bank of Scotland.

The combined business will employ over 300 people in central London with total revenue in excess of £18 million from over 3000 customers.

The deal makes Durrants the number one press cutting agency in the UK. It brings together two companies at the forefront of changing the media monitoring sector by the use of sophisticated scanning and OCR technology and elaborate multi-option delivery capabilities from print to web.

Durrants is one of the largest and longest established press cuttings agencies in the UK. Founded in 1880, it has spent the last four years investing in technology to deliver an ever more sophisticated media monitoring service. One of Durrants’ strengths has always been breadth of coverage within the UK. With the acquisition of Xtreme News, it adds to that the ability to provide highly bespoke services to the corporate communications market as well as providing a broad international capability.

Stephen White, Chief Executive of Durrants, said “The combined operation will have a broad fundamental capability to service high-speed, complex briefs, provide wide media coverage and offer a full international service. In addition, both companies have many added-value services and we fully intend increasing the range. As clear market leader, our commitment is to continue to build outstanding service levels and customer relationships as the obvious one-stop-shop choice.”

Michael Biddulph of Kleinwort Capital said: ‘We are delighted that Durrants has been able to conclude this acquisition which has secured a commanding market share for the combined businesses. There are immediate synergies from the deal, and Xtreme News also gives Durrants access to the government sector, as well as an improved international reach.’

Durrants launched its press cutting service in 1880. 120 years later the company started to develop technology platforms to enhance its service. Today it reads 4500 print publications, 2500 web sources, nearly 100 newswires and alerts from 250 broadcast channels. It is a subsidiary of Discovery Group Limited.

Xtreme News was founded in 1983 and acquired Clipserver in 2001. Clipserver was the pioneer technology player in media monitoring and Xtreme News today has sophisticated computer-based production systems. The company also has a strong international press service. Like Durrants, Xtreme News prides itself on high-quality client management.

About Durrants

Durrants, part of Discovery Group Limited, is backed by Kleinwort Capital and is one of the largest and longest established press cuttings agencies in the UK. Durrants was Founded in 1880 when it first launched its press cutting service - an industry it has pioneered for over 120 years. Now a digitally enhanced media monitoring agency, equipped with state-of-the-art technology, Durrants is leading the quest to provide more accurate media coverage on a more timely basis and to continue revolutionising the industry through technological advancement. Durrants already provides coverage spanning more than 4,300 newspaper, consumer and trade titles plus Internet and newswire monitoring and also monitors national radio and television in the UK and provide clips in an instant to client’s desktops. In addition, Durrants also offers an international service with access from most countries around the world, making it the leading single source for worldwide media monitoring.

About Veronis Suhler Stevenson
Veronis Suhler Stevenson is a leading independent merchant bank dedicated to the media, communications and information industries and has completed over 630 transactions since its inception in 1981. The firm has acted as a financial advisor across the full spectrum of media, communication and information segments and provides the following services: private equity, mezzanine debt investment and mergers & acquisitions advisory services. VS&A Communications Partners III, LP is the third private equity fund managed by Veronis Suhler Stevenson. Capitalized at over $1 billion, it is one of the largest private equity funds dedicated exclusively to investments in the media, communications and information industries. The VSS Private Equity buyout funds have invested in 33 platform companies and 154 add-on acquisitions, across multiple media segments; the realized and unrealized enterprise value of these investments total approximately $7 billion.


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