May Buy U.K. Classified Publisher Loot caught
absent London traders unawares on Easter Monday by revealing that it
has started negotiations to buy classified advertising newspaper
Loot. says it has the backing of communications group Vivendi
which will provide financing for the Loot acquisition. Vivendi
is a major shareholder in

Robert Bonnier, chief executive officer of, approved
a statement that no further information would be issued at
this stage. The board of plc has taken no decision
yet to purchase Loot and says that talks are still at
an early stage.

A final decision about the purchase is not expected until
the beginning of June, 2000, say reports. According to information
from Scoot, Vivendi has agreed to accept a private placement of
Scoot shares at a premium of 178-1/4 pence.

Before the Easter break, Scoot closed in London at 156-3/4
pence and at $46-14/32 on the U.S. Nasdaq on Wednesday.

In recent years, newspaper Loot has grown to become one of
the best sources of classified advertising for U.K. consumers,
and is available from nearly all newsagents in Britain. It also
runs a busy Web site which would be extensively developed if
the purchase by Scoot becomes reality.

Towards the end of 1999 Scoot announced a joint venture
with Vivendi to introduce its services throughout Europe
over the next three years. It already operates in the Netherlands
and Belgium through a joint venture with VNU.

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