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July 16, 1998

SOFTBANK THE CATALYST BEHIND FIRST VIRTUAL BUY

By CBR Staff Writer

The president of internet messaging company First Virtual Holdings Inc, Keith Kendrick told us yesterday that Softbank Holdings Inc’s venture capital arm was indeed instrumental in the company’s acquisition of Email Publishing Inc earlier this week (CI No 3,451). Kendrick says he first met Email Publishing’s chief executive Andrew Currie last fall and the two discussed possible joint marketing deals or an acquisition. They were introduced by Brad Feld, managing director of Softbank Technology Ventures. Softbank closed its 64%-acquisiton of First Virtual towards the end of June and was one of the seed investors on Email Publishing. Kendrick says Email Publishing was always top of the list of companies to be acquired with the money First Virtual got from Softbank, and he says that while he doesn’t want to divert the company from its concentration on email service outsourcing, he expects to making more make or buy decisions, in the near future. The value of the deal to buy Email Publishing, will be determined by the First Virtual closing price on the day the deal is completed. First Virtual is using six million of its shares to buy Email Publishing.

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