U.K. Scoot.com's Deals Soften Losses

It was a big day for the U.K. Internet company Scoot.com PLC with the announcement of two separate partnership agreements and the release of the company's revenue report.

Most significantly, French media group Vivendi SA is investing 110 million pounds (US$180 million) in Scoot.com, the company announced today. The European joint venture between the communications arm of Vivendi and Scoot.com -- a provider of e-commerce business-to-business distribution channels and services -- will give Vivendi a 9.8 percent stake in Scoot.com.

Under the terms of the agreement, Scoot.com will be launched in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal within the next three years. Scoot.com France will roll out during the third quarter of this year, Scoot.com said.

Scoot.com already operates in the Benelux countries of the Netherlands and Belgium.

Scoot.com is also planning to enter into a partnership agreement with PontServe Inc., with an initial investment of $8 million by the U.S. company, Scoot.com announced separately today.

The deal, which Scoot.com expects to be finalized in four weeks, will allow for PointServe's online appointment scheduling technology to be integrated with Scoot.com's interactive transaction network, Scoot.com said in a statement.

Scoot.com provides e-commerce business-to-business distribution channels and services.

The e-commerce company may be trumpeting its million-dollar deals, but Scoot.com also released a less than upbeat earning report for the first fiscal quarter of 2000. Scoot.com's revenues for the first quarter ending Dec. 31, 1999 was 4 million pounds, down from 5.4 million pounds during the same period last year, and it lost 3.9 million pounds.

Revenue for the year ending Sept. 30 were down by 14 percent. Scoot.com had revenue of 15.9 million pounds in fiscal 1999, compared to 18.6 million pounds for the fiscal year 1998, Scoot.com said in a separate statement. The price per share was lowered to 5.4 pence, down from a price of 9.4 pence-per-share the year before.

Scoot.com plans to launch wireless, Internet and digital TV transaction services this quarter, the company said.

Scoot.com, headquartered in Oxford, England, can be contacted at +44-1865-380-192, or at http://www.scoot.com/. PointServe, headquartered in Austin, Texas, can be contacted at +1-512-617-5300, or at http://www.pointserve.com/.

Vivendi, headquartered in Paris, can be contacted at +33-1-71-71-10-00, or at http://finance.vivendi.com/.

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