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OpenCityMedia

Strategic partnership between Bluewin, Swisscom and PubliGroupe

Swisscom AG is transferring its shares in Swisscom Directories AG (51%) and PubliDirect Holding AG (49%) to Bluewin AG, continuing its consolidation of the customer-oriented online services (Business-to-Customer) under the Bluewin umbrella. The transfer will make it possible for Bluewin and PubliGroupe to substantially expand their joint range of online directory services. The transfer was already been approved by the Swiss Federal Competition Commission. Swisscom Directories AG and PubliDirect Holding AG were created at the beginning of 1999 from the partnership between Swisscom AG and PubliGroupe Ltd. Swisscom Directories AG offers address and telephone directories online and in print. In addition to the classic telephone book and the databases such as the ETV and «undefined», the range of services also includes business services in the communications field for SMEs. PubliDirect Holding AG, through its subsidiary LTV Media AG, publishes the "Yellow Pages" and roughly 100 local telephone directories in Switzerland. It is focussing on the sales of advertising for the print and online media sector, and markets Swisscom Directories AG´s business services. In the new structure PubliGroupe Ltd. will maintain its holding of 51% in PubliDirect Holding AG and 49% in Swisscom Directories AG, Bluewin will take over the 49% share in PubliDirect Holding AG and the 51% share in Swisscom Directories AG from Swisscom. PubliDirect Holding AG´s 100% share in Amitel, which publishes the local white and yellow pages in the French regions of Franche-Comté and Rhône-Alpes, will be transferred to PubliGroupe Ltd., allowing the company to pursue further developments and alliances. Christoph Brand, CEO of Bluewin AG: "The strategic partnership with PubliGroupe AG will make it possible for us to offer attractive additional services for the Internet users on our portal and to increase use of the portal; electronic directories are one of the most used contents on the Internet". For Jean-Jacques Zaugg, Chief Executive Officer of PubliGroupe Ltd., the future collaboration will lead to a stronger development potential for Swisscom Directories and LTV Media online services that can count on the three-fold support of Bluewin, Swisscom and PubliGroupe. Swisscom Directories AG has its head office in Bern. In 1999 its turnover was CHF 100 million. Roughly 240 employees currently work at the head office in Bern and in the Front Offices distributed over the whole of Switzerland. PubliDirect Holding AG through its subsidiary LTV Media AG, based in Zurich, made a turnover of CHF 75 million in 1999. LTV Media AG employs a total of 370 staff, roughly 280 of whom are in the field organization. Swisscom Directories AG and LTV Media AG are managed as independent corporate entities. For customers, partners and employees nothing will change due to the transfer of shares to Bluewin AG. The existing co-operations, contracts and range of services will be continued. In particular the contracts with the other telecom providers for the supply of data to Swisscom Directories AG´s directories will remain in force. Swisscom Directories AG will continue to produce directories containing data from all telecom providers.

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