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HA-LO Acquires Web Technology from Westminster International

[Toronto, CANADA] HA-LO Industries, a brand marketing and promotional products leader, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Westminster International Computers, a Canadian Internet company with a patented technology to build customized Web pages and deliver personalized e-mail for customer communication.

Westminster will become part of UPSHOT, the brand marketing agency of HA-LO and work specifically with UPSHOT's direct division.

Westminster's capabilities, combined with the data mining and modeling competencies of UPSHOT's direct division, could position HA-LO as a leader in crafting the complete brand experience for both online and offline customer communication.

The combination is regarded by the two companies as the first instance of bringing offline customer profile information online, so a customer's first Web interaction with a company is personalized before they ever conduct any activity on the site and without the requirement to register online.

"By aggressively packaging the technology as a product and creating licensing agreements with third-party vendors, Westminster's patented YourMail Technology capabilities offer consistent and recurring revenue opportunities," said Max Coats, president of the direct division of UPSHOT.

"It has been estimated that the demand for e-mail-marketing services will increase to a $4.8 billion industry by 2004, up from $156 million in 1999. We look forward to being a key player in this industry."

Westminster operations will remain in Toronto and the group will report to Coats at UPSHOT's direct division headquarters in Richmond, VA.