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Barclays Private Equity invests in PREMIUMcommunications

Munich, Zurich, October 10, 2007 – PREMIUMcommunications (known as Cyberline Group up to the beginning of 2007) has generated strong growth in recent years with multilingual services in the areas of tech support, user helpdesks, outbound and inbound services, and services for SMEs. The company is now anticipating revenue of CHF 80 million in 2007, its sixth year of operation. The company, with its 1,300 employees, generates its sales at five locations. Barclays Private Equity, one of Europe's leading mid-market financiers, is investing in the Thurgau-based company in order to further expand the successful business model, and is acquiring the majority of the company's share capital. The management of the group will be unchanged following the partial sale. Peter Weigelt will remain the president of the board of directors, while Marcus Meloni will continue to be active as CEO of the group.

PREMIUMcommunications Holding AG, headquartered in Tägerwilen in the Swiss canton of Thurgau, has generated strong growth in its business in recent years. The company is budgeting revenue growth of over 40% for this year, to reach a total of around CHF 80 million. As of the end of 2007, PREMIUMcommunications Holding will employ a total of over 1,300 staff members at the locations of Tägerwilen, Zurich, Lausanne and Mendrisio, as well as at Krefeld in Germany.

Barclays Private Equity creates basis for company's expansion

The owners of PREMIUMcommunications Holding have decided to seek close cooperation with a strong partner in order to continue to pursue its successful growth strategy over coming years, and bring an even stronger international focus to its operations. Altium Capital, an investment banking group that operates across the whole of Europe, assisted the company in its search. It found the ideal partner in Barclays Private Equity, a private equity investor that specializes in medium-sized companies. The partnership will allow the company to expand and further develop its successful corporate strategy in a focused and dynamic manner. Barclays Private Equity is acquiring the majority of the company's share capital.

While the presence of a new majority shareholder will not result in any changes in the operational management of PREMIUMcommunications, the composition of the board of directors will be altered. Rolf Weigele and Urs Spuhler are standing down from the board of directors, while Dirk Schekerka (Managing Director of Barclays Private Equity Deutschland) and Philippe Stüdi (Managing Director of Barclays Private Equity Schweiz, who will take over the vice-presidency at the same time) will represent the new majority shareholder. As previously, the other members of the board of directors include Peter Weigelt (St. Gallen) as president, Dr. Thomas Borer (Thalwil), Marcel Rutishauser (Salenstein) and Peter Schmid (Berne). The management in its existing composition, under the leadership of CEO Marcus Meloni, continues to ensure the company is operated with its focus on growth and efficiency.

Premium services in 21 languages

PREMIUMcommunications Holding is planning a major expansion of its operations in coming years. For instance, following Tägerwilen, Krefeld (Germany), Zurich and Lausanne, a new call centre has been in operation in Mendrisio since August 2007. The Ticino-based branch will mainly focus on the Italian market, where the company plans to expand the successful, cross-border business model with multilingual premium services in the areas of tech support, user helpdesks, outbound and inbound services, as well as services for SMEs.

According to information provided by Peter Weigelt, president of the board of directors, the entire company is highly motivated to access new market segments and new international markets from its base in Switzerland in cooperation with Barclays Private Equity: 'We are convinced that Switzerland as a business location will continue to provide us with an outstanding basis for grow

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