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January 31, 2000

Gladstone Acquires

COMPANY PRESS RELEASE: Gladstone plc announces the acquisition of Limited ('') a Placing and Open Offer of 8,004,368 Consolidated Ordinary Shares at 250p per consolidated share ('the Proposals') and interim results to 31 December 1999.

By CBR Staff Writer

Acquisition of, a leading provider of services to the rapidly growing localisation market with particular emphasis on electronic learning and on-line publishing for a consideration of GBP13.8 million

Group’s strategic focus on Customer Relationship Management particularly within the internet market place

Successful fundraising of GBP 20m

Brian Raven, Chairman, commented, I am delighted to welcome to the Gladstone Group and particularly encouraged by the enthusiastic response to our fundraising which was oversubscribed. This placing round is enabling us to significantly increase the institutional shareholding in the Group and build relationships with a number of cornerstone investors keen to support Gladstone as it develops.

The acquisition enables us to broaden our strategy across the spectrum of Customer Relationship Management. We are now able to help e.tailers conduct business effectively and globally over the internet.

The services provided by the Enlarged Group will enable web based businesses to communicate with customers internationally in their local languages through the localisation of websites and content, to process on-line payments, to reduce fraud and to enhance customer loyalty through the analysis of customer behaviour.

In October 1999 Gladstone acquired Microcache a private company which was to be the cornerstone of the Group’s newly established card services division. The Directors have decided that the card services division should now be divided into separate business units and that the Group’s strategic focus should be broadened to encompass various aspects of Customer Relationship Management. It is also the Directors intention to focus increasingly on the opportunities afforded by the rapidly developing internet market place. The Group currently intends to provide business to business services in the inter-related areas of payments (security and fraud prevention), customer loyalty cards (schemes and market intelligence) and customer communication (web sites and web delivered content).

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Microcache, with its expertise in smart card systems and software, together with Ge.comm, with its payment and fraud prevention products, already provide payments solutions and are intending to provide loyalty services. The Acquisitions will enable the Enlarged Group to address the market for customer communication services, particularly over the internet. provides linguistic and cultural localisation services to companies wishing to distribute information globally. Its principal customer focus has been on computer based and web based training, multimedia and electronic publishing companies, much of whose material is distributed via the internet.

History and Development’s business was founded in 1996. It has grown rapidly since then and as at 31 January 2000 employed 123 staff. The company is based in Dublin, a recognised centre of excellence within the software industry. It has representative offices in Massachusetts, California, Texas and in the UK and has opened a second production facility in Sligo in the west of Ireland. The offices in the USA are as a consequence of’s overseas customer base being predominantly located there.

Key Strengths has the following key strengths:

to focuses on a niche market with exciting opportunities for growth internationally;

it has a strong senior management team with extensive localisation experience;

it has stringent quality control procedures via automated systems; and

has a good quality of earnings from relationships with blue chip customers.

Strong Organic Growth

These strengths have enabled to achieve rapid growth over the last three years during which turnover has grown by 212% and post tax results have grown from a loss of GBP(42,000) in 1997 to a profit of GBP403,000 in 1999. The Company has been very successful in winning repeat business, a factor which has been a key element in driving the significant growth of the business.

Strong Competitive Position’s strategy has been to focus predominantly on providing localisation services to the e.learning sector of the market and the directors are not aware of any other company which offers the same range of services to this particular niche market. has developed certain key processes and the Directors believe that a considerable amount of development would be required by a new entrant in order to compete effectively. The company has made a substantial investment in both personnel and infrastructure to achieve what the Directors believe is a dominant position within their chosen niche. As a result, the Directors believe has an advantage over the large non specialist localisation companies.

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