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Wednesday, 7 February, 2001: '7' Global Ltd, the UK's first Business Services Aggregator, has acquired the business and assets of specialist Microsoft application service provider (ASP), HOSTeu Ltd. The acquisition, completed for an undisclosed sum, will accelerate 7's growth plans by adding key technical resources and customers.

Since its launch in 1995, HOSTeu has been a leader in the delivery of business messaging solutions, most recently focussing on Microsoft Exchange 2000 and, as such, HOSTeu is one of six other Microsoft ASP partners in the UK. HOSTeu is also one of only 2 companies in the UK and 12 companies world-wide to be part of the Microsoft Joint Development Project to help design the next Generation of Microsoft Exchange, code named Mercury. The acquisition not only accelerates 7's overall growth plans but provides it with a London City office and further enhances its expertise and credibility within the ASP industry. The acquisition will also bring Microsoft ASP accreditation several months ahead of schedule.

"Given the backdrop of a shortage of valuable IT skills, this acquisition enables us to benefit from a highly experienced technical and commercial team of people, as well as acquire substantial intellectual property," said Bill Joss, Chairman, 7. "The fact that over the past six years HOSTeu has built up such a strong customer base and partnerships, in particular with Microsoft, greatly accelerates us towards our business objectives."

Although the acquisition is a sign of consolidation within the UK ASP market and follows similar movements in the US market, 7 has a fundamentally different business model for the delivery of outsourced IT services which puts it in a unique market position.

7 is not an ASP. 7 is a Business Services Aggregator. As such it takes best-of-breed services from multiple ASPs and offers them to customers as a single unified service. This way 7 can deliver the different applications a business requires through a single connection, under a single service level agreement (SLA), with a single bill and for a known cost of ownership. These services are hosted, managed and delivered from 7's Solutions Data Centre in the former bullion vaults of the Old Bank of England Building in Liverpool.

The existing London office, business and assets of HOSTeu will be fully integrated in to 7 and branded accordingly.

Editorial notes:

Interviews with Bill Joss, Chairman, 7 are available by calling Jonathan Hughes, Ketchum on
020 7465 7019. Photography is available on request.

About 7:

7 is the UK's first Business Services Aggregator, a new breed of service provider that integrates best-of-breed business services from multiple Application Service Providers (ASPs) into a single unified service. 7 offers a range of services including Messaging and Collaboration, Network Infrastructure Management, Managed Security Services and Storage Service Provision via a utility based pricing model. 7 manages the delivery of these services from its Solutions Data Centre in the vaults of its headquarters in the Old Bank of England Building, Liverpool. The Solutions Data Centre has been designed primarily for security, scalability and modularity, supporting multiple operating systems and platforms. This infrastructure is available to other service providers and software vendors looking to deliver their services via the ASP model. 7 has strategic partnerships with IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, Cable & Wireless.

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