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G+J USA Agrees to Acquire Fast Company

Positions G+J USA As A Leading Force
In The General Business Information Sector

**Veronis Suhler acted as financial advisor to Fast Company.

NEW YORK --December 19, 2000-- G+J USA announced today that it has reached an agreement to purchase Fast Company - America's most rapidly growing business magazine offering the newest ideas and tools for business leaders who thrive on the high velocity of change in today's business world.

The announcement was made today by Daniel B. Brewster, Jr., president and CEO of G+J USA, who was joined by Bernd Kundrun, president and CEO of Gruner+Jahr AG, and Axel Ganz, president of the international magazine division for Gruner+Jahr AG. Terms of the transaction, which depend upon approval of the Gruner+Jahr supervisory board, were not released.

Brewster stated, "Fast Company is a great addition to G+J USA - it fits our strategy to diversify our product line. This acquisition deepens our commitment to grow G+J USA in the business information category. This will also allow us to develop new titles and ancillary products within the general business segment. Fast Company is known for its innovative and leading edge editorial content - the advertising community and our employees will see this as a dynamic step towards our plans for expansion."

Remarked Kundrun, "The acquisition of Fast Company adds another cornerstone to our international portfolio of business titles. We are number one in the business segment in Germany, France, Poland and Spain. Fast Company is the first of a new kind of business magazine - beyond all hype and frenzy. We are proud to welcome the magazine to our international family."

The premiere issue of Fast Company appeared in November 1995. Since its debut, the magazine has been one of the most remarkable success stories in publishing--not just in terms of circulation and advertising sales, but also in terms of its impact on its readers and on the worldwide conversation about the future of business. Fast Company presents ideas, tools, and practices in ways that engage and inspire the leading players in business.

William Taylor, one of the founding editors of Fast Company, comments, "For five yearsFast Company has chronicled a business world of deep change and huge opportunity. And we have been clear that the way you win in this kind of world is to be smarter, nimbler, and more creative than the competition. The relationship with G+J makes that worldview come to life for our enterprise with a partner who shares our values."

Founding editor, Fast Company, Alan M. Webber adds, "This deal is a big win, not only for us, but also for our readers, advertisers, and supporters, who look to Fast Company to create the idea agenda for the future of business. G+J's strategic resources will enable us to reach even more sophisticated business people, who see Fast Company as an essential part of their business reading."

Veronis, Suhler & Associates, acted as investment banking advisor to the seller.

»  About Fast Company
From the beginning, Fast Companyhas taken a distinctive approach to the challenge of building and growing a media enterprise. First, the magazine stands for a clear and compelling point of view. Fast Company has become the essential source of ideas and advice for leaders who understand that we are living in truly remarkable and deeply challenging times. The competitive logic of business has changed fundamentally, driven by the impact of digital technologies, global markets, the new workplace, and a generational power shift in leadership ranks. In this new environment, the only sustainable leadership is thought leadership - generating more good ideas and make smarter adjustments faster than the competition. Fast Company creates the idea agenda for the future of business.

Fast Company has a second source of differentiation from conventional media enterprises -- its deep level of engagement with its audience. The ultimate test of the magazine is not how many people read it. The ultimate test is how many people use it to think differently, to lead better, to work smarter, and to evaluate their own success. Fast Company is more than a magazine; it's a movement. It's an acclaimed Web site, it's a series of engaging live events, and it's a global, grassroots network of readers (the Company of Friends) who interact with one another, interact with the people Fast Company writes about, and use the tools in the magazine.

Fast Company'saverage paid ratebase for 2001 will increase to 680,000 beginning with the January, 2001 issue. For the period ending June 2000, Fast Company reported a total average paid circulation of 538,261.

Through the end of December, 2000 Fast Company has reported to min a total of 2184 ad pages, a 27% increase over the same period (January 1999-December 1999) last year.

»  About G+J USA
G + J USA, one of America's largest magazine publishers, which reaches 1 out of every 2 women in America, publishes Child, Family Circle, Fitness, Homestyle, McCall's, Parents, YM and Inc. magazine -- the nation's preeminent source of information and services for small and growing companies. G + J USA, part of Europe's largest and most profitable publishing company, Gruner + Jahr AG, with worldwide headquarters in Hamburg, Germany. Gruner + Jahr AG, which publishes more than 100 titles in 14 countries is 25.1% owned by the Jahr Group and 74.9% owned by Bertelsmann AG, the largest privately held and the fifth largest media company overall in the world with yearly revenues at $16 billion.

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