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Veronis Suhler Acquires Majority Stake in Xtreme Information Ltd

UK-based Xtreme is a leading global television advertising monitoring service Merchant bank's private equity affiliate, VS&A Communications Partners III, takes majority stake

Xtreme founder John Gordon remains as CEO as company looks to expand


New York and LONDON -- September 26, 2001 -- Media merchant bank and private equity investor Veronis Suhler has taken a majority interest in Xtreme Information Ltd, a UK-based business information services company that monitors television and print advertising, news, and advertising expenditures on a global basis.

VS&A Communications Partners III, Veronis Suhler's private equity affiliate, has made the principal investment in Xtreme, taking a majority stake as part of a management buyout.

Xtreme co-founder and CEO John Gordon will remain in place as the company's chief executive. Mr. Gordon retains a percentage of the company that he first founded in 1983 as TV Register.

Xtreme's revenues are derived from two major lines of business. Its Creative unit is an advertising monitoring service that tracks, digitizes, archives, and distributes TV commercials and print advertising around the world; half of the Creative revenues are subscription-based from large corporate advertising and marketing departments, and the other half are derived from ad hoc requests from advertising agencies. Xtreme also operates an Editorial division, which is a high-speed multi-media news clipping service. Xtreme's revenue for 2001 is estimated to be 20 million ($29 million).

Having pioneered the business of television and print advertising monitoring nearly two decades ago, Xtreme now dominates this sought-after niche, as large advertisers and marketers frequently turn to broadcast and print monitoring services for plotting strategy. Commercial monitoring is also used as a vital part of business intelligence by companies looking to stay current with competitive advertising in multiple markets worldwide.

"I am delighted to be partnering with Veronis Suhler," said Mr. Gordon. "The firm's historic media and information industry knowledge should allow us to expand both organically and by acquisition in multiple markets around the world. Xtreme will continue to expand its base of unique, sophisticated media monitoring services."

Previous investors in Xtreme include Dan Levin, the company's co-founder and now a non-executive director; Mike Luckwell, founder of media conglomerate Carlton Communications PLC; and investment firm Mezzanine Management Ltd. Xtreme CFO Peter Banks and other key managers will retain a management interest.

"We adhere to a core strategy of investing in growth-oriented media and content/information companies," said Jeffrey Stevenson, president of VS&A Communications Partners and a partner of Veronis Suhler. "Xtreme offers a powerful combination of international content and services - which will be enhanced by the intelligent use of new technology - and is a 'must-have' intelligence tool for large-scale advertising, public relations, marketing and media companies." Mr. Stevenson has directed Veronis Suhler's private equity activities since the launch of its first media fund in 1987.

"Xtreme is the only company with demonstrated capability in worldwide broadcast and print monitoring of advertising content," continued Mr. Gordon. "No other media services organization delivers a seamless application for monitoring advertising to both corporate marketers and agencies on a global scale. And we will continue to perfect our product."

Through VS&A Communications Partners, Veronis Suhler makes principal investments in a diverse set of media, communications and information industries. Since 1987, Veronis Suhler has built a portfolio of more than two-dozen platform companies across a broad spectrum of media segments, from consumer broadcasting and communications to specialized business information, trade shows, and B2B publishing.

The investment in Xtreme was led by Veronis Suhler International Ltd, the firm's London-based affiliate. Stephen Warshaw, managing director, and Christopher Russell, a principal with VS&A Communications Partners III, were principally behind putting together the Xtreme transaction.

About Xtreme Information
Headquartered in London, Xtreme (www.xtremeinformation.com) provides global advertising and editorial monitoring services, across numerous media, to its clients and is one of the leading database companies for TV commercials worldwide. Xtreme's database archives more than 7,000 commercials every month (over one million in total) and is used by large corporate advertisers and most major advertising agencies for strategic marketing, monitoring and intelligence. Other activities include a press clipping service, measurement of advertising expenditures, and international press and broadcasting monitoring.

About Veronis Suhler
Veronis Suhler (www.vss.com), a leading independent merchant bank dedicated to the media, communications, and information industries, is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2001. Since its formation, the firm has acted as financial advisor across the full spectrum of media industry segments including Broadcasting, Cable & Satellite TV, Newspaper Publishing, Consumer Magazines and Books, Business Information Services, Professional, Educational & Training Media, Business-to-Business Communications, Advertising, Marketing Services & Specialty Media, and the Internet.

VS&A Communications Partners III is a $1 billion private equity fund affiliated with Veronis Suhler.

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