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zanox acquires eprofessional GmbH in Hamburg

Hamburg/Berlin, 26 June 2006 – Berlin’s AG, market leader for performance-based multichannel commerce, has acquired all shares in eprofessional GmbH, a full-service agency for search engine marketing, and has hence been the sole shareholder in the Hamburg company since 23 June 2006. Both founders, eprofessional’s main shareholders and CEO’s, Christian Petersen and Michael Scheland, will hold a share in zanox. They will remain for at least three more years in the company, which will continue to operate under the name eprofessional in Germany. The purchase price will range in the eight-digit Euro area. eprofessional and zanox have already worked together as strategic partners since 2004.

With its purchase of eprofessional, zanox has underscored its role as leading online marketing provider. At the same time, the Berlin company has expanded its position in the international search engine marketing sector. eprofessional is one of the leading full-service agencies in search engine marketing within Europe with a dynamic and profitable business development and an attractive client base of well-known companies. In the future, through its integration into the globally positioned zanox group, eprofessional can offer its clients the entire range of online marketing services from one source, in addition to search engine marketing (SEM).

“Through eprofessional’s SEM know-how and our global structure, we’ll be the first company worldwide to offer a SEM API software solution. Hence, we can integrate all the important search engines such as Google, Yahoo! Search, Miva or Baidu,” explains the zanox CEO Thomas Hessler.

“We’re pleased to now be part of the international zanox group, so that we can offer our technology and experience worldwide. In the online advertising performance optimisation sector, our clients’ online business will increase and benefit through both the merger with zanox and the improved access to sales partners within the zanox network. We can offer our clients a perfectly integrated range of online marketing services,” explains Christian Petersen, founder and CEO of eprofessional.

The zanox CFO, Heiko Rauch, comments on the decision to buy all stakes in eprofessional: “We’re well matched and possess large synergies nationally, as well as internationally. This strategic acquisition allows us to make a great leap forward in the fast-growing search engine marketing sector. With eprofessional, we can further improve our profitability and can achieve a turnover of 100 million Euro this year. eprofessional has an excellent reputation as a professional search engine marketing agency, which is among others due to their first-class technical expertise and to the development of their bid management software. By making this acquisition, we can now not only offer our clients even better performing technologies in search engine marketing but also the eprofessional team’s first-class expert know-how in the future. We can therefore continue to outpace the competition.”

The search engine marketing sector is a particularly fast growing online marketing segment. Business analysts, Jefferies & Company, predict average growth of 24 percent totalling 26.4 billion US Dollars by 2010.

eprofessional GmbH was founded in Hamburg by Christian Petersen and Michael Scheland in 1999. Since then, eprofessional has grown to be one of the leading full-service agencies for search engine marketing in Europe. eprofessional now employs more than 50 employees who handle more than 100 advertising clients, including well-known companies such as Beiersdorf, Heinrich Heine, Maggi, Medion AG or Otto. eprofessional has kept a branch office in Madrid since 2006. eprofessional is actively involved in the Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW, Federal Trade Association for the Digital Economy), the German Direct Marketing Association (Deutschen Direktmarketing Verband, DDV), as well as the international association “SEMPO

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