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Scoot.com, Vivendi Clarify Terms of European JV Deal

Scoot.com plc and European conglomerate Vivendi S.A. Monday announced the terms of the two companies' European joint venture, including Vivendi's decision to take a larger stake in the infomediary.

Also on Monday, Scoot announced quarterly results to December 31, 1999, showing revenues up 150 per cent, while net loss per share dropped to 0.75 pence from 1.4 pence compared to the previous quarter.

The tie-up between Scoot.com, a major supplier of online business directory services, and Vivendi, was first revealed in November last year. Since then, Vivendi has acquired 13 million shares in Scoot, and the full extent of the new £200 million ($328 million) venture is clear. The venture was initially created to launch the Scoot service in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal within the next three years.

On Monday, Vivendi purchased an additional 15 million new ordinary shares in Scoot at 70p ($1.15) and will subscribe for a further tranche worth £25 million ($41 million), bringing its total holding to 9.8 per cent of Scoot's outstanding share capital.

"The transaction with Vivendi will create a powerful, well positioned interactive consumer transaction service which is expected to generate around 1.5 million transactions per day across Europe in five years from now," said Robert Bonnier, chief executive officer of Scoot.

Bonnier went on to say that the joint venture would leverage Vivendi's extensive assets in telecommunications, media and TV, delivering seamlessly integrated applications through wireless, Internet, digital TV and wireline platforms.

"This local, national and international service will create a unique user and subscriber experience all delivered under the Scoot brand umbrella," said Bonnier.

To the same end, Scoot has forged a strategic alliance with PointServe, Inc., a U.S. company that develops online scheduling technology. Scoot plans to integrate it into its soon-to-be-launched transaction services where it will become standard throughout Europe.