Metropolis` US based partner VerticalNet launches European joint venture with British Telecommunications, PLC and Internet Capital Group

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Metropolis Transactive Holdings` US based partner VerticalNet, Inc. (VerticalNet), has recently announced the formation of VerticalNet(R) Europe, a joint venture between global communications company British Telecommunications, plc (BT) and Internet Capital Group (ICG). VerticalNet Europe and BT have agreed to create VerticalNet UK Ltd. as part of the joint venture.

Mario Shaffer, VerticalNet Vice President of Business Development and International, and acting CEO of VerticalNet Europe said: "After the success of our first international alliance with Metropolis in South Africa, we have continued to seek partners and acquisitions to develop and market online vertical communities worldwide."

"With our presence in Africa, and now in Europe, we are creating the ultimate market place for our customers."

VerticalNet Europe is funded with $227 million in cash and assets from the three partners. The combined cash contribution of $107 million in financing is one of the largest ever raised for a business-to-business Internet company.

"The rollout of international operations is a tremendous milestone for the Company," said VerticalNet President and CEO Mark Walsh.

"With VerticalNet Europe we are entering into the Internet`s next hypergrowth market. Partnering with BT and Internet Capital will allow us to exploit this opportunity rapidly, as our simultaneous creation of VerticalNet UK demonstrates."

"BT`s considerable presence, reach and alliances within Europe along with Internet Capital`s network of partner companies and industry expertise, form an effective combination with VerticalNet`s B2B trading communities. Establishing strong regional positions with global distribution channels will offer effective end-to-end e-commerce services for our members," Walsh said.

"This alliance is a powerful boost for the VerticalNet/Metropolis partnership as it adds another building block to the global network of B2B communities. There has always been a strong trade link between Africa and the UK and we believe that this partnership will be significant for us as it will greatly enhance the global reach that we are now able to offer to our customers." says Jason Xenopoulos, CEO of Metropolis.

"I believe that this is yet another vote of confidence for our business model," he concluded.

VerticalNet is the registered trademark of VerticalNet, Inc. All other names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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