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Online System to Acquire Durand Communications

Online System Services Inc. announced it entered into an agreement to acquire Durand Communications Inc. of Santa Barbara, CA in a stock deal valued at $9.9 million.

Terms of the agreement call for Denver-based Online System Services to issue 1,003,000 shares of restricted common stock valued at approximately $9.9 million in return for all of the outstanding shares of privately held Durand. The acquisition is subject to approval by shareholders of Online System Services and other contingencies.

Online System Services develops a turnkey product and service package that puts broadband operators in the high-speed Internet service and local Web content business. Durand provides an integrated suite of products and services for building and supporting online communities and electronic commerce.

"Durand Communications is an ideal fit for Online System Services because it will strengthen our leadership position in the high-speed access marketplace and enhance our ability to provide critical local content and online community development to broadband operators who are offering high-speed Internet access to their subscribers," said Steve Adams, president and CEO of Online System Services.

Adams noted that Durand's expertise in online education and business training was especially attractive to Online System Services. "We believe that markets for education and business training are among the most exciting growth opportunities for online communications," he said.

"Durand is a clear leader in this area. Its Pangaea Network and ownership of the Electronic University Network, along with the company's wealth of technical and marketing talent, all are important factors in our decision to make this acquisition."

Durand's principal offerings include CommunityWare, an advanced set of tools, applications, and services for building virtual communities on the Internet; and Pangaea Network, a distance learning network serving colleges, schools, associations, and businesses.



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