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ots Ad hoc-Service: AG Acquisition

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    Kiel (ots Ad hoc-Service) - sharpens focus on online

    - Takeover of the IT consultancy book & data - MBO of traditional advertising agency division

    The Kiel-based AG (Reuters Code FXXG.F), an Internet service company and Germany's market-leading broker of Internet gambling options, has stepped up the focus on its online activities through the acquisition of an IT consultancy firm and the divestment of its traditional advertising agency business.

    To strengthen the development side of its online expertise, has acquired an initial 55 percent shareholding in the IT consultant book & data Software-Entwicklung GmbH, in an agreement backdated to January 1, 2000. The company, based in Laboe near Kiel, specialises in the development of software solutions and in advising companies on IT matters; it currently has 21 employees. In the 1999 financial year, book & data recorded sales of DM 2.7 million, with pre-tax profits reaching DM 0.3 million. Its profitability will have a correspondingly beneficial effect on the cash flow of AG. The customer base of the company, founded in 1991, includes Deutsche Telekom Computerservice Management, CABUS ComputerSysteme and Vossloh Systemtechnik.

    The contractual agreement envisages acquiring the remaining shares in book & data at the start of next year. The takeover is to be financed partly with borrowed funds and partly from a capital increase against contribution in kind from the approved capital of AG, with no resulting effect on the liquidity situation. has simultaneously hived off the traditional activities it was still conducting as a former advertising agency, in the form of a management buy-out; these activities no longer bear any direct link with the company's present strategic focus on the business areas of Internet services and online gambling. The divested division will in future be run by employees as an independent full-service advertising agency with a regional emphasis. The decision to shed this division will have a positive effect on AG's earnings situation thanks to reduced costs. On the sales side, will continue to act as handling agent on behalf of the MBO.

    The Supervisory Board of AG has approved the acquisition and the MBO.

    Contact: AG; Investor Relations, Stefan Zenker, Phone: +49 (40) 85 37 88 - 47 or +49 (431) 88 10 4-84; Mobile: +49 173 913 87 05; Mail:

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