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ZULU-tek Takes Controlling Interest in SOFTBANK Interactive

ZULU-tek Inc., formerly Netmaster Group, said it acquired control of SOFTBANK Interactive Marketing on December 31.

Newport, RI-based ZULU-tek reported it purchased its equity in the rep and ad development firm from SOFTBANK Holdings Inc. Financial details were not disclosed.

ZULU said it will integrate the streaming "beyond-the-banner" technology of its subsidiary, echoMEDIA Technology, with SOFTBANK Interactive Marketing's Internet advertising sales, content sponsorship, and promotional capabilities.

echoMEDIA's technology delivers the appropriate file type to each end-user based on modem speed. In addition, the new venture will offer CD-ROM advertising and other forms of interactive advertising as well as e-commerce technology to build back-end transactions systems, ZULU-tek said.

SOFTBANK Interactive Marketing's products include the Foundation Buy portfolio of branded sites; the SOFTBANK Network, a proprietary ad network that uses targeting technology; and promotional sponsorship and custom programming capabilities.

"This acquisition is a significant step forward in establishing our three- pronged business model," said Ronald I. Meatchem, chairman of ZULU. "Combining our current Internet advertising technology with SOFTBANK Interactive Marketing's outstanding sales infrastructure, technology-based marketing solutions and proprietary ad network will solidify ZULU's plans to become the No. 1 provider of Internet advertising and marketing solutions."

"We are committed to delivering quality, simplicity, service and especially results to both Web site clients and advertisers," said Caroline Vanderlip, CEO of SOFTBANK Interactive. "This new venture combines [our] ability to deliver effective, online marketing campaigns to meet the demands of advertisers with ZULU's advertising technology leadership."

Combined gross sales for the two companies for the month of December 1997 totaled $7.1 million. ZULU said it intends to expand SOFTBANK Interactive's sales force by more than 20% as well as its product offerings to maintain its industry leadership position. The combined group provided services to more than 1,000 advertisers in 1997.

EchoMEDIA's interactive advertising software, Sesame-Ad and While-You- Wait, enables advertisers to run multimedia, commercials on the Web--elements of the same commercials that are used on television.