January 3, 2001

 

Headlines---
   Feds Surprise: Rate Decrease!!!
      Sanwa Gets Active in Equipment Leasing
        ePlus Scores More Sales
           NetBank Launches New Web Site
               GE Finances Diamonds On Line
                  Pitney Bowes Introduces New Product

Reactions to Adrian Bulman, Bob Rodi, and Other "End of Year Comments" ____________________________________________________________________________________ Federal Reserve Cuts Rates in Surprise Move to Boost Flagging Economy

(1/3/01 11:09:09 AM PT)

WASHINGTON-- Citing weak holiday sales and data indicating a slowdown in key areas of the economy, the Federal Reserve Wednesday unexpectedly reduced interest rates and said it is prepared to make more cuts if necessary.
The Fed reduced the federal funds rate by one-half percentage point, to 6%, and its largely symbolic discount rate by one-quarter point, to 5.75%.
The Fed said 'these actions were taken in light of further weakening of sales and production, and in the context of lower consumer confidence, tight conditions in some segments of financial markets, and high energy prices sapping household and business purchasing power. Moreover, inflation pressures remain contained. Nonetheless, to date there is little evidence to suggest that longer-term advances in technology and associated gains in productivity are abating.' The Fed said it 'continues to believe that, against the background of its long-run goals of price stability and sustainable economic growth and of the information currently available, the risks are weighted mainly toward conditions that may generate economic weakness in the foreseeable future.'
The Fed had promised to throw a life preserver to the U.S. economy, recently declaring that the risks of 'economic weakness in the foreseeable future' exceed the risks of inflation. Financial markets had expected the Fed would begin cutting rates at the end of January, and to reduce them at least one-half percentage point by spring.
Abandoning its 19-month stance that it was primarily worried about 'inflation pressures,' Fed officials last month said 'the drag on demand and profits from rising energy costs, as well as eroding consumer confidence, reports of substantial shortfalls in sales and earnings, and stress in some segments of the financial markets suggest that economic growth may be slowing further.'


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Sierra Citities Reaction
I don't share your enthusiasm about the merger of Sierra Cities with VerticalNet. Did you notice that only 8.7 Million shares were tendered as of 12/29/00? As of the Dec. 17th tenure date, over 12.5 Million had been tenured or a drop of almost 4 Million shares in favor of the merger/acquisition. Looks like the merger is on shaky ground.

Do you have stock in this company?

name with held
( No, don't have any stock in either company, but wouldn't it be nice to get some good news, rather than bad news? We need to be more positive in the Leasing Industry. editor )

Based on my calculations, the Sierra Cities/Verticalnet buy out appear to be in some jeopardy. According to Microsoft Investor, Sierra Cities has roughly 19,000,000 outstanding shares. In order for the merger to go through, it requires 2/3 of the outstanding shares to be tendered. VeritalNet has announced that as of Dec 29th (after 2 extensions), only "8,747,840 shares of SierraCities common stock, which represents less than two thirds of all outstanding SierraCities common stock on a fully diluted basis, have been tendered." This represents 46.041% of the common outstanding - much less than the 66.66% needed. After 2 extensions of the cutoff date, I fail to see how 2 additional weeks will find an additional 3,792,160 shares (or 19.995% of the common outstanding). This deal has all the looks of an failed takeover. It is hard to imagine a more "out of favor" combination on Wall Street as a dot.com + leasing company combination. I had someone who I really respect comment to me on this purchase. His opinion was that the Sierra Cities purchase by VerticalNet was like two drunks trying to hold each other. What a classic line!

Please withhold name

more comments and positive reaction to Adrian Bullman Article ( this is not only in our archives, but now in our article section: http://www.leasingnews.org/archives/December/12-27-00.htm ) Bravo..Adrian's article is the type of reporting that will give your news network credibility. It's the first time I actually made it past the headlines. FYI...SierraCities is fired up about the opportunities in 2001.

Happy Birthday and Happy New Yea
r Richard A. Baccaro
EVP Sales
RichardBaccaro@SierraCities.com

Risk Based Pricing

I enjoyed reading and agree with Bob Rodi's explanation of Risk Based Pricing. It has become a fact of life in the credit card and residential mortgage business, and it's gathering steam in the automobile finance arena. Yet, to the best of my knowledge, AccessLease is the only one out there actively promoting RBP (though it is being accomplished through multiple lenders and is not consistent with the model Bob outlined). I know that First Sierra talked about implementing such a program before they were put up for sale. Are there any lessors that actively manage their portfolios and/or vendors in this manner?

I also enjoyed Bob's comments about funding your own deals. Everybody should take that risk once in a while to get and retain a true appreciation for making a credit decision. I am the first to admit that I have put together packages for clients I would never fund personally. But I have understood their business and their needs inside and out and I have never put someone into transaction that I wouldn't accept. If I have a start-up or a weak-credit, I do not hesitate in putting them into an SBA loan. It's a lot of paperwork and I don't make what I would like, but these clients know that a 12.25% effective rate in today's market is a great deal for a start-up or troubled credit. Plus, I have made a friend who will provide referrals and repeat business. I started in this business in 1977, saw prime hit 20.5%, sold 25% rates to "A" credits, worked for 10 companies (only 2 still exist and one of them is on "the list") and been downsized 6 times. The last time I got downsized, I decided to do it on my own. Of all that I've seen in 23 years, the thing that stands out the most to me is the role reversal that has taken place in the industry. When I first got started, banks would only take the gilt-edged credits. Leasing companies did the start-ups and less than perfect credits. Today, it's the other way around. Here's an example, this fall a manufacturer called me regarding a multi-million dollar order for a start-up. None of the big name lessors would touch the deal simply because it was a start-up. It took me a month to understand the credit and document the package (turns out they are well capitalized and have contracts in hand) and another month to find a bank with solid experience in this industry and get the deal approved. But I received terms the lessee accepted from a regional bank I had never done business with. Always understand the credit and the funder. Relationships are the name of the game. Never abuse a funding source or a client by over-pricing your side. I focus on mid-ticket end-user deals. I review and discuss the credit with the funder. We determine a fair price for the credit and then resolve how to split that pricing equitably. Never let a funder or a client think you're trying to get rich at their expense.

Best wishes for a successful 2001...
John Bergwell
Fin-Con Capital, LLC
913-219-5169 Phone
johnbergwell@fin-concapital.com
www.fin-concapital.com

What Do Readers Think?

Fellow Leasing Professionals:

As the first year of the new millennium draws to a close, it's time to review, reassess, & reevaluate. Think about the last few years. Metamorphose was inevitable as the leasing industry continued to sophisticate and attract investors. Whether new to the industry, or an old salty dog like me (began in 1979), we are ALL affected by modification and change. A lot of words have been penned about this from Brokers & Funding Sources. www.leasingnews.org One prominent change that seems to have set in motion many other changes was the acquisition of Colonial Pacific Leasing Corp ("CPLC") from Pitney Bowes by General Electric ("GE"). Was your relationship and/or contract with CPLC affected by the ownership change? Do you find that as funding sources get absorbed by others, there is more attention, or is there less attention to your companies specific needs? Do you think that regulation is coming? Do you think it is needed? Is it wanted?

WHAT do YOU think?
Lori J. Reicheg LJR Equipment Leasing Service "Providing NATIONAL Service since 1979"
email Lori@cabomagic.com
tel 702-838-0564
fax 702-838-0565
mailing address 9430 Del Webb Boulevard #111 Las Vegas, NV 89134

Sanwa Bank California Will Offer Equipment Finance; Hires Dick Rai as Managing Director of the New Unit

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 3, 2001--Sanwa Bank California is introducing equipment and leasing finance as a service of its Commercial Banking Division. Dick Rai, a senior banking executive with more than 20 years of experience in corporate finance and leasing, has been named managing director of the new business for Sanwa. The announcement was made by Jeffrey Anderson, Sanwa's senior executive vice president of Commercial Banking. The Equipment Finance Department will offer financing and portfolio placement across a wide variety of asset classes with a special focus on beneficial tax structures. "Sanwa has many existing customers that will benefit from this new service," Anderson said. "Dick Rai is a strong choice to fill the gap that we've had in this area." Most recently, Rai was president of PAV Financial in Chicago, an investment banking firm. Earlier he was senior managing director at Heller Financial in Chicago. Prior to that, Rai was with Sanwa Business Credit Corporation in Chicago, a subsidiary of Sanwa Bank Limited, where he managed lease portfolios, loan syndication, securitization, and strategy and development. Rai earned an MBA degree from Southern Methodist University and a BA in Economics from St. Stephen's College in New Delhi, India. Sanwa Bank California, with over $9 billion in assets, is the third largest bank headquartered in California and provides a full range of personal, business, international and trust services through a network of more than 100 branches statewide. Sanwa Bank California is the largest and most profitable subsidiary of The Sanwa Bank Ltd., one of the largest financial institutions in the world.

Note to editors: Sanwa Bank news releases are available via fax by dialing NewsOnDemand toll free at 888/329-5714.

CONTACT:
Sanwa Bank California, Los Angeles Madeline Sell, 213/896-7971

KEYWORD: CALIFORNIA

Plus Awarded PA Statewide Education Supply Contract ePlus, a leading provider of remotely-hosted, Web-based e-procurement, asset management, and financing solutions, announced that it was awarded several statewide Pennsylvania Educational procurement contracts for CY2001 and CY2002 from the Pennsylvania Purchasing Program for Microcomputers (PEPPM).

The Company had previously been awarded similar contracts for CY2000. Over 1,000 public and private institutions are eligible to purchase under this award, including over 500 Pennsylvania public school districts, technical schools, and higher education institutions.

The Company estimates that the PEPPM contracts could generate up to $60 million in equipment sales revenue for the two year period, based in part on historical sales results under former PEPPM contracts, and the status of currently awarded contracts. Sales orders generated under the contract may be processed internally through Procure+.

The PEPPM award provides ePlus the opportunity to sell additional ePlus products through ePlusMarket, and e-commerce services, including ePlusSuite, to educational purchasing entities. The ePlusSuite services include work flow enabled e-procurement through Procure+, total life-cycle asset management services through Manage+, and integrated settlement and financing through Finance+. Phillip G. Norton, chairman, president and chief executive officer of ePlus stated, "We are very pleased to have been awarded this contract again, and for a two year term. It provides a very efficient mechanism for educational organizations to purchase at pre-negotiated prices, and if they choose, to benefit from ePlusSuite, which provides an end-to-end solution that includes e-procurement, asset management, financing and disposition. We successfully implemented several e-commerce customers in Pennsylvania as a result of last year's contract, and we look forward to winning more customers over the next two years."

ePlus Expands Sales Organization

HERNDON, Va.--

New SVP of Sales and Director of Technology Alliances Hired;
Company Establishes New Sales Organization ePlus inc. (Nasdaq: "PLUS"), a leading provider of remotely-hosted, Web-based e-procurement, asset management, and financing solutions, today announced that it has hired William R. Cocker as Senior Vice President of Sales to lead the company's sales organization nationwide. Under Mr. Cocker, the company's sales force will be organized into three groups: Direct Sales Group, Technology Alliances Group, and Bank/Leasing Program Group. Mr. Cocker, formerly National Sales Manager of the VM Division of Sterling Software, Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Computer Associates NYSE: CA), brings over 20 years of executive, management, and sales experience in the software, hardware, and financial products industries. During his 11 year tenure at Sterling, Mr. Cocker was a top salesman, earning several first place sales awards and Sales Director of the Year award. His experience selling software products and services includes web enablement, web enhancement, database administration and automated operations to both government and commercial accounts. Phillip G. Norton, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said "Bill brings a great new dynamic to ePlus. As our sales organization grows and we accelerate our focus on target markets, we recognized the need to organize our sales force by specialization, as well as the importance of hiring experienced sales management with a background in software and services. Bill's experience and disciplined approach to sales management should prove to be very beneficial to ePlus, and we are very glad that he decided to join ePlus." William R. Cocker, senior vice president, stated: "This is a terrific opportunity for me. ePlus has the best solution I have seen in the middle-market procurement space, and is well positioned to take advantage of this burgeoning market. The segmentation of our sales efforts into 3 groups will help us differentiate our products and services by market, and should enable us to both leverage our existing customer base and respond quickly to new opportunities."

Direct Sales Group:
The Company's Direct Sales Group consists of salespersons who sell the Company's goods and services directly to end-user customers. ePlus has hired 17 new direct end-user salespersons since April 1, 2000, increasing its direct sales force to more than 90. The company now has 21 locations, including:
*T Austin, TX Camp Hill, PA Charlotte, NC Columbia, MD Dallas, TX Greenville, NC Herndon, VA Lewisville, NC Minneapolis, MN Myrtle Beach, SC Phoenix, AZ Pottstown, PA Raleigh, NC Sacramento, CA San Diego, CA Santa Ana, CA Santa Clara, CA St. Louis, MO Waxhaw, NC Westchester, PA Wilmington, NC Technology Alliances Group: ePlus announced that it has hired Phillip A. Seifert as Director of Business Development for its Technology Alliances Group. Mr. Seifert was formerly President of Platformix, Inc., an ASP company he founded and sold to a NASD company in July of 2000. As President of Platformix, Mr. Seifert was responsible for raising $10MM in venture capital, negotiating strategic partnerships, revenue sharing agreements, and co-marketing relationships with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sun Microsystems (NASD NM: SUNW), RMI.Net (NASD NM: RMII) and Citrix (NASD NM: CTXS), and creating technology partnerships with Think Free, Aelix, Cavasoft, JDH Technologies, Cyrus Intersoft, Ulysses Telemedia Networks. At ePlus, Mr. Seifert will be responsible for developing, negotiating, and managing partnerships and programs with technology companies and professional services organizations to generate additional ePlusSuite customers. Mr. Norton stated: "It is terrific that Phil Seifert has joined our company. He has extensive relationships in the B2B and consulting space, and is a successful entrepreneur, having founded, funded, and sold an ASP company in less than 18 months. We have received numerous inquiries from consulting companies requesting an remotely-hosted e-procurement and supply chain solution for their middle-market clients. We think this market represents a great opportunity for ePlus." Bank/Leasing Programs The company announced that Thomas B. Howard, Jr. will be Vice President of its Bank/Leasing Program Group. As the former President of Signet Leasing and a Senior Vice President of Signet Bank, Mr. Howard directed all of the capital equipment financing and leasing products for commercial, federal and municipal accounts at the leasing company. Mr. Howard trained and motivated sales teams which greatly increased business volumes and led the leasing division through increased profitability each year. Mr. Howard will be working with regional banking companies and specialty finance companies to provide ePlusSuite on a private label or co-marketing basis to their respective customers. About ePlus: ePlus, ePlusSuite, Procure+, Manage+, and Service+ are trademarks of ePlus inc. Finance+ is a registered service mark of ePlus inc.. Other trademarks and service marks used herein are the property of their respective owners. ePlus is a leading provider of remotely-hosted, Web-based e-procurement, asset management, and financing solutions. ePlus both simplifies and shortens the implementation process by including customized work flow management and hosting the Procure+ and Manage+ solutions for its customers. ePlus has 145 e-commerce customers which includes 109 implemented customers. Founded in 1990, the company is headquartered in Herndon, VA and has more than 20 locations in the US. For more information, visit our website at http://www.eplus.com, call 800-827-5711 or email to info@eplus.com . "Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: The statements contained in this release, which are not historical facts, may be deemed to contain forward-looking statements. Actual and anticipated future results may vary due to the following risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, general economic conditions; fluctuations in operating results; its ability to effectively manage future growth, to retain and efficiently integrate our executive management team, and to identify, hire, train and retain, in a highly competitive market, individuals highly skilled in the Internet and its rapidly changing technology; the lack of long-term contracts in certain business units; its ability to enter into and retain its existing, strategic relationships; market acceptance; rapid technological change; a decline in Internet usage and intense competition in its market; its ability to effectively integrate the operational, managerial and financial aspects of future acquisitions; demand and competition for the Company's lease financing and equipment sales and asset management services, and the products to be leased or sold by the Company; the continued availability to the Company of adequate financing including permanent non-recourse and recourse debt, and working capital lines of credit; the ability of the Company to recover its investment in equipment through remarketing; the successful execution of its e-commerce strategy; the amount of equipment ordered, purchased and/or leased by its customers; and other risks or uncertainties detailed in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Investors are cautioned that current financial results may not be indicative of future results. CONTACT: ePlus Kley Parkhurst, 703/709-1924 KEYWORD: VIRGINIA

ePlus Expands Sales Organization HERNDON, Va.-- New SVP of Sales and Director of Technology Alliances Hired; Company Establishes New Sales Organization ePlus inc. (Nasdaq: "PLUS"), a leading provider of remotely-hosted, Web-based e-procurement, asset management, and financing solutions, today announced that it has hired William R. Cocker as Senior Vice President of Sales to lead the company's sales organization nationwide. Under Mr. Cocker, the company's sales force will be organized into three groups: Direct Sales Group, Technology Alliances Group, and Bank/Leasing Program Group. Mr. Cocker, formerly National Sales Manager of the VM Division of Sterling Software, Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Computer Associates NYSE: CA), brings over 20 years of executive, management, and sales experience in the software, hardware, and financial products industries. During his 11 year tenure at Sterling, Mr. Cocker was a top salesman, earning several first place sales awards and Sales Director of the Year award. His experience selling software products and services includes web enablement, web enhancement, database administration and automated operations to both government and commercial accounts. Phillip G. Norton, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said "Bill brings a great new dynamic to ePlus. As our sales organization grows and we accelerate our focus on target markets, we recognized the need to organize our sales force by specialization, as well as the importance of hiring experienced sales management with a background in software and services. Bill's experience and disciplined approach to sales management should prove to be very beneficial to ePlus, and we are very glad that he decided to join ePlus." William R. Cocker, senior vice president, stated: "This is a terrific opportunity for me. ePlus has the best solution I have seen in the middle-market procurement space, and is well positioned to take advantage of this burgeoning market. The segmentation of our sales efforts into 3 groups will help us differentiate our products and services by market, and should enable us to both leverage our existing customer base and respond quickly to new opportunities." Direct Sales Group: The Company's Direct Sales Group consists of salespersons who sell the Company's goods and services directly to end-user customers. ePlus has hired 17 new direct end-user salespersons since April 1, 2000, increasing its direct sales force to more than 90. The company now has 21 locations, including: *T Austin, TX Camp Hill, PA Charlotte, NC Columbia, MD Dallas, TX Greenville, NC Herndon, VA Lewisville, NC Minneapolis, MN Myrtle Beach, SC Phoenix, AZ Pottstown, PA Raleigh, NC Sacramento, CA San Diego, CA Santa Ana, CA Santa Clara, CA St. Louis, MO Waxhaw, NC Westchester, PA Wilmington, NC Technology Alliances Group: ePlus announced that it has hired Phillip A. Seifert as Director of Business Development for its Technology Alliances Group. Mr. Seifert was formerly President of Platformix, Inc., an ASP company he founded and sold to a NASD company in July of 2000. As President of Platformix, Mr. Seifert was responsible for raising $10MM in venture capital, negotiating strategic partnerships, revenue sharing agreements, and co-marketing relationships with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sun Microsystems (NASD NM: SUNW), RMI.Net (NASD NM: RMII) and Citrix (NASD NM: CTXS), and creating technology partnerships with Think Free, Aelix, Cavasoft, JDH Technologies, Cyrus Intersoft, Ulysses Telemedia Networks. At ePlus, Mr. Seifert will be responsible for developing, negotiating, and managing partnerships and programs with technology companies and professional services organizations to generate additional ePlusSuite customers. Mr. Norton stated: "It is terrific that Phil Seifert has joined our company. He has extensive relationships in the B2B and consulting space, and is a successful entrepreneur, having founded, funded, and sold an ASP company in less than 18 months. We have received numerous inquiries from consulting companies requesting an remotely-hosted e-procurement and supply chain solution for their middle-market clients. We think this market represents a great opportunity for ePlus." Bank/Leasing Programs The company announced that Thomas B. Howard, Jr. will be Vice President of its Bank/Leasing Program Group. As the former President of Signet Leasing and a Senior Vice President of Signet Bank, Mr. Howard directed all of the capital equipment financing and leasing products for commercial, federal and municipal accounts at the leasing company. Mr. Howard trained and motivated sales teams which greatly increased business volumes and led the leasing division through increased profitability each year. Mr. Howard will be working with regional banking companies and specialty finance companies to provide ePlusSuite on a private label or co-marketing basis to their respective customers.
NetBank Launches a Redesigned Web Site to Attract New Customers AndAccommodate Its Growing Product Line Consumer-Tested Redesign and Independent Customer Care Audits Cap Year of Numerous Customer Service Enhancements ATLANTA, Jan. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- NetBank(R), Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, (Nasdaq: NTBK) (www.netbank.com), and the world's leading Internet bank with more than $1.7 billion in assets, announced today that it has launched a redesigned Web site and hired an outside consulting firm to audit and test its site and customer care program. These initiatives follow a number of customer service enhancements and new product offerings introduced during 2000 under NetBank eCare(TM), an ongoing customer care strategy to provide multiple means of access to account information and convenient, easy- to-use self-service features for conducting routine online banking activities. "Our goal is to offer customers exceptional convenience and service -- right from their very first contact with the bank," said Michael R. Fitzgerald, NetBank president. "Last year, we implemented a number of low-overhead customer service enhancements, such as wireless account access and an upgraded online bill payment and presentment platform. We have a long history of profitability and remain committed to keeping expenses down. NetBank will continue to share its cost savings with customers through higher rates on deposits and low or no fees on basic banking services." The redesign project focused first on NetBank's public site; the secure, transactional site where customers bank online is scheduled for redesign in 2001. NetBank conducted extensive consumer testing last summer, using individuals with varying degrees of Internet and online financial services experience. Results from this research guided the project through its completion. Consumer-friendly highlights of the redesigned site include: * Prominent display of the latest deposit account rates on the home page; * Streamlined navigation system; and * Easier access to account terms and conditions. Beginning in December 2000, the bank contracted with a New York-based market research firm to conduct ongoing consumer-based testing of its site and customer care program. Each month, the agency performs a number of tests that duplicate a range of routine customer contacts, from the opening of an account to more involved transactions, such as research on a deposit or the transfer of funds from one account to another. The tests are indistinguishable from regular customer requests to the bank's staff. Other projects completed as part of NetBank eCare include: 24x7 customer care support; online chat and co-browsing capabilities; instant account funding; open financial exchange (OFX) support of Microsoft(R) Money and Quicken(R); online images of cleared checks; and membership in the MAC ATM network, which provides customers access to approximately 18,000 deposit-taking ATMs. Many national publications and industry-monitoring organizations -- including Worth, Smart Money, Upside Today and Gomez Advisors -- have recognized NetBank for its exceptional value and customer service by naming the bank as a top choice in their respective surveys of the best online banks. About NetBank(R) NETBANK, Inc., (NASDAQ: NTBK; www.netbank.com), is a financial services company whose sole subsidiary, NetBank, Member FDIC, is the first profitable pure Internet bank in the country, having achieved profitability in the past ten consecutive quarters. With more than $1.7 billion in assets and customers in all 50 states and 20 foreign countries, NetBank was recently recognized as the best online bank by readers of Worth magazine in its annual "Readers' Choice Awards" survey and as a Money.com pick for "Best Online Banks." With its low-cost, branchless business model, NetBank is able to reward its customers with high interest rates on deposits with low- or no-fee banking services. Products and services include free online account access, free checking, free unlimited online bill payment and presentment, free unlimited ATM use, VISA(R) check card, VISA(R) credit card, online brokerage services, mortgage lending, home equity lines and loans, insurance, IRAs, online safe deposit boxes and business equipment leasing services. NetBank is a member of the AFFN, Cirrus, Honor/Star, MAC and NYCE ATM Networks. For more information on NetBank, its products and services, visit the Web site at www.netbank.com, or call 1-888-BKONWEB (256-6932). "Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Information in this press release about NetBank's ongoing customer care strategy, its sharing of cost savings, plans to redesign its transactional site and intent to perform monthly testing of its site and customer care program are "forward-looking statements" involving risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. Risks include the bank's inability to support and develop multiple points of access and self-service features, unforeseen increases in operational expenses, a decision not to redesign the transactional site for financial or strategic reasons and its satisfaction with the independent firm hired to conduct site and customer care testing. The bank has no obligation to update forward- looking statements. For a discussion of additional risks and uncertainties facing NetBank, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year. SOURCE NetBank CO: NetBank ST: Georgia
Diamonds On Line lue Nile Closes $15 Million Revolving Credit Line From GE Capital; Premier Financial Institution Drawn to Online Retailer's Strong Business Model SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 3, 2001--Blue Nile Inc., the leading online retailer of diamonds and fine jewelry, announced today that it has closed a $15 million revolving line of credit with GE Capital. The three-year deal will provide Blue Nile with additional flexibility in funding its working capital needs in support of the company's continued growth. GE Capital's Business Credit group, as well as the country's leading equity investment firms, was attracted to Blue Nile's business model - which is based on strong consumer demand, a high average sales price for its products, low infrastructure and fulfillment costs and fast inventory turns. "To receive this type of financing - which is usually reserved for established brick-and-mortar businesses - reflects the strength of our business model," said Blue Nile Chief Financial Officer Diane Irvine. "This credit line, combined with our existing capital, will enable us to remain focused on meeting customer needs and adapt business operations and growth accordingly." "We believe Blue Nile has a superior management team and a compelling business plan," said Jim McKay, managing director of GE Capital Business Credit. "They are fulfilling a clear consumer need, are well-capitalized and positioned as the leader in the online diamond and jewelry category." About Blue Nile Blue Nile, the online leader in the diamond and fine jewelry category, located on the Web at www.bluenile.com, offers consumers a better way to buy diamonds and fine jewelry. Recently named Forbes Favorite online jeweler, the publication's top honor of the best Internet sites, Blue Nile provides an exceptional collection of classically styled jewelry selected according to high standards of quality, beauty and value. Cleanly designed and easy to navigate, the site offers the in-depth education necessary to make informed purchases with confidence. All Blue Nile jewelry is delivered free of charge, guaranteed and returnable within 30 days and transactions are covered through SSL technology - which ensures an online purchase experience that's risk-free. Based in Seattle, Blue Nile is privately held with investments from Bessemer Venture Partners; Trinity Ventures; Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; LightSpeed Venture Partners (formerly Weiss, Peck and Greer Venture Partners); Integral Capital Partners; Vulcan Ventures Inc., and Comdisco Ventures. The company can be reached by phone at 800/242-2728. About GE Capital GE Capital, with assets of over US$345 billion, is a global, diversified financial services company with 28 specialized businesses. A wholly owned subsidiary of General Electric Company, GE Capital, based in Stamford, Conn., USA, provides equipment management, mid-market and specialized financing, specialty insurance and a variety of consumer services, such as car leasing, home mortgages and credit cards, to businesses and individuals around the world. GE is a diversified manufacturing, technology and services company with operations worldwide. SOURCE: Blue Nile CONTACT: Blue Nile Inc., Seattle Paula Gottlob, 206/336-6700 paulag@bluenile.com or for Blue Nile John Baird, 314/982-1700 bairdj@fleishman.com KEYWORD: WASHINGTON CONNECTICUT
Pitney Bowes Office Systems Multifunctional Solutions Enable Connectivity and Information Sharing TRUMBULL, CONN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 3, 2001--With the introduction of the new Model DL260/360 Series of digital Multifunction Devices (MFD), Pitney Bowes Office Systems enhances its position as a total solution provider for corporate document and information management. The digital product platform of the DL260/360 Series offers benefits unavailable in older analog copiers, such as lower enterprise-wide print costs, full network integration, and the added convenience of supplemental faxing and scanning. With the reliance of today's economy on the Internet, e-commerce and associated supporting technologies, the DL260/360 Series is an exceptional value for companies interested in enabling connectivity and efficiently sharing information. "Because our new cost-effective digital solutions allow communication over a computer network, customers can easily divert print streams to more efficient output devices, increasing the level of complete document production done in-house while lowering the cost-per-page by up to 70%," stated Dennis Roney, president, Pitney Bowes Office Systems. "Since the cost of managing documents can reach up to 15% of a company's revenue, a reduction of just one or two percent in print costs can bring tremendous savings to a company's bottom line. " An "application chameleon", the Pitney Bowes DL260/360 Series can be installed as either a standalone copier, delivering high resolution 600 dpi laser output at 25 ppm and 35 ppm, respectively, or factory-equipped to also handle demanding walk-up faxing needs. In environments where stand-alone fax machines handle the majority of time-sensitive mission-critical documents, having a supplemental fax machine can be a valuable time saver. In networked installations, the DL260/360 Series also functions as a high volume laser printer and allows users to take advantage of time saving finishing features not found on department office printers (stapling and hole punching) while controlling these print jobs directly from the desktop. The Pitney Bowes DL 260/360 Series uses a sophisticated image processor for intelligent multi-tasking, giving users uncompromised copy, print and fax capabilities. In addition, it offers what no stand-alone desktop laser printer can boast; a monthly duty cycle of up to 120,000/150,000 pages allowing more robust throughput and increased workloads. As a digital multifunctional system, customers achieve newfound cost efficiencies through economies of scale achieved by shared resources by significantly reducing: 1) imaging supplies 2) the number of vendors 3) service agreements. Today, customers seek to simplify purchasing decisions and look for vendors that can be a one-stop, "total solution provider". Not only will the DL260/360 Series address that need, but these systems enable customers to seamlessly transition from analog-to-digital technology. Important for IT professionals, the DL260/360 Series integrates into computer networks with "plug `n play" ease, without slowdowns or compatibility issues. As a network-ready office solution, the Pitney Bowes DL260/360 Series can be optionally equipped to connect to an Ethernet or Token-Ring network, turning the system into a shared laser printer that can simultaneously handle the document processing demands of small and large corporate workgroups. The DL260/360 supports Windows(TM), Macintosh(TM) and UNIX operating environments, as well as Novell or NT networks. With an available 33.6 Kbps modem (3 seconds per page transmit speed), the fax-enabled Pitney Bowes DL260/360 Series becomes a 24/7 multi-tasking workhorse. It offers a wealth of high-end fax features that streamline day-to-day faxing tasks, including .55 second per page scan speed for reduced waiting time, and image compression schemes that reduce time spent transmitting- an important tool to help reduce phone charges. About Pitney Bowes Office Systems With years of document management experience, Pitney Bowes Office Systems representatives are application experts that work seamlessly with corporate managers, IT staff, and end users to identify and create new solutions for customers' mission critical business processes. To do this Pitney Bowes Office Systems selects only those products that are "best of breed" and can deliver the greatest value and performance for the end user. Sales and service staff will install the equipment, program the basic functions, and run a complete test operation from the moment it is in place. At the time of installation, Pitney Bowes Office Systems Marketing/Service Representatives will conduct on-site training to introduce employees to all aspects of the equipment's features that include programming, functional operations, replacement supplies, and work with employees to realize the full value of the equipment. The DL260/360 Series is available directly from Pitney Bowes Office Systems' national network of sales offices by calling (800) 290-7860. The company also works with customers to create flexible payment schedules and / or leasing agreements. For more information on specifications on the complete Pitney Bowes Office Systems digital multifunction and analog copier and facsimile products, customers may log on to www.pitneybowes.com. Pitney Bowes Office Systems offers high performance, leading-edge analog and digital copier/ printer and facsimile systems for the corporate market through a coast-to-coast direct sales/service organization. All products are supported by the company's Customer Satisfaction Guarantee. Pitney Bowes Office Systems is the recipient of the "Digital Imaging System of the Year" from Buyers Laboratory Inc., and has received the 2000 "Editors Choice Award" from Better Buys for Business. CONTACT: Pitney Bowes, Trumbull Manager, Media Relations Christopher Tessier, 203-351-7210 tessiech@pb.com

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