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VS&A Communications Partners III, LP Takes Minority Stake in London's ITE Group; Veronis Suhler Media Investment Fund to Help Expand Emerging Markets B2B Exhibit Organizer

LONDON--Oct. 11, 2000--VS&A Communications Partners III, LP, the private equity affiliate of U.S. media merchant bank Veronis Suhler, has taken a minority stake in ITE Group Plc, one of Europe's leading trade show and business conference organizers (www.ite-exhibitions.com ) In exchange for its (pound)30 million investment (approximately $45 million), Veronis Suhler will receive approximately a 17% stake in publicly-held ITE, which trades on the London Stock Exchange. Veronis Suhler will also gain two seats on ITE's 10-member board.

This transaction marks the firm's first European investment since the launching this past summer of a London-based affiliate, Veronis, Suhler International Ltd., to direct investment activities in Europe.

Established in 1990, ITE has become a dominant factor in international trade shows and exhibitions in emerging markets, such as Eastern Europe, Turkey and Russia and the CIS, and within numerous industry verticals, such as automotive, travel and tourism, oil and gas, and construction. The company's revenues derive largely from major international companies seeking a showcase their products and services in emerging markets. ITE's annual auto shows in Russia, for instance, are well represented by GM, Ford, Volkswagen, Fiat and other leading manufacturers.

"ITE is a wonderful addition to our portfolio and fits well with our long-term interests in business communications and trade shows," said Jeffrey T. Stevenson, President and Managing General Partner of VS&A Communications Partners and a partner of Veronis Suhler. "In serving a number of emerging markets with premium B2B exhibitions and events, ITE has carved out a unique advantage among global trade show organizers. We are excited about the company's prospects for more ambitious expansion in the next several years across its existing markets and Europe, but also Asia, and elsewhere." Mr. Stevenson said the ITE investment "is a perfect way to kick off our new London unit," which was established as a base for both mergers and acquisitions and private equity investments in Europe. Nigel Stapleton, formerly CEO of leading international publisher Reed Elsevier, and Marco Sodi, Managing Director at Veronis Suhler, co-head Veronis, Suhler International Limited.

Lawrie Lewis, Chairman of ITE, commented, "We are extremely excited to be working with Veronis Suhler. The partnership will enable ITE to accelerate the development of the Group as one of the world's leading exhibition organisers in emerging markets. The benefits of an extended network of relationships and the strength of Veronis Suhler's experience will be of great benefit as the Group continues its strategy of growth both organically, as we introduce our product into new geographic markets, and by acquisition, as we continue to seek investment opportunities across the globe. I look forward to reporting on the Group's progress with confidence."

VS&A Communications Partners III is the third private equity fund managed by Veronis Suhler since 1987. Capitalized at $1 billion, it is one of the largest buyout fund dedicated exclusively to investments in the media, communications and information industries. Last week, the fund announced that it had signed an agreement to acquire leading trade magazine and newsletter publisher Phillips Business Information (PBI) from its parent Phillips International, Inc. For information on VS&A Communications Partners, its Fund III portfolio companies (HCIA-SACHS, Hanley-Wood, Data Transmission Network, and PBI), visit www.vss.com.

CONTACT:
Veronis, Suhler International, Ltd.
Christopher Russell

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