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   Technology StocksAscential Software (ASCL)


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To: SemiBull who wrote (137)8/4/2003 7:43:49 PM
From: SemiBull
   of 179
 
Ascential Software Announces Agreement to Acquire Mercator Software for $3 Per Share

Monday August 4, 6:02 am ET

- Creates the industry's first and most comprehensive data integration product set for transactional, operational, and analytical requirements regardless of data volumes or latency - Growth-Oriented Acquisition Significantly Increases Ascential's Size and Scale

WESTBORO, Mass., and WILTON, Conn., Aug. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ascential Software Corporation (Nasdaq: ASCL - News), the enterprise data integration leader, today jointly announced a definitive agreement to acquire Mercator Software (Nasdaq: MCTR - News), a leading provider of data transformation and routing solutions designed for complex, high-volume transaction processing environments. The acquisition, structured as a cash tender offer, is valued at approximately $106 million. This combination is expected to create the largest independent enterprise data integration software company with current annualized revenues of approximately $250 million and more than 3,000 customers.

"Mercator's offerings are widely recognized for their ability to address high-performance, real-time, complex data integration requirements and are a natural complement to our offerings," said Peter Gyenes Chairman and CEO, Ascential Software. "Our combined technologies, distribution channels, partnerships, geographic coverage, and skill sets expand the size and scale of our company, and allow customers to apply our comprehensive data integration platform pervasively, throughout their enterprise, to support transactional, operational and analytical application environments, regardless of data volumes or latency."

* Strategic Rationale
* This combination:
* Creates the largest independent software vendor focused exclusively on

enterprise data integration with $250 million in annualized revenue and

more than 3,000 customers

* Creates the industry's first and most comprehensive product set to support the full spectrum of data integration requirements regardless of data volumes or latency
* Extends and deepens Ascential Software's resources for technology innovation, customer value and global reach
* Adds solutions, expertise, customers and partners in key vertical markets including: finance, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and distribution
* Elevates the visibility and strategic importance of Ascential Software within the enterprise IT community
* Leverages Ascential Software's business model by accelerating profitability and growth, providing accretion to earnings while retaining substantial financial resources.

"Mercator and Ascential each have a history of successful innovation that provides superior customer value," said Roy C. King, Chairman and CEO of Mercator. "The combination of our highly complementary technology provides Mercator customers the opportunity to immediately benefit from Ascential's scalable suite of data profiling, data quality, transformation and meta data management, as well as its Real-Time Integration (RTI) Services that enable on-demand data integration in line with customers' business processes. Ascential's customers can also benefit from Mercator's expertise in transaction-oriented data transformation and routing; innovative industry-ready integration solutions; and powerful adaptors for an extensive universe of platforms, servers and other requirements of critical business technology. Each of our constituencies can benefit from the substantial scale, stability and global resources resulting from the Mercator/Ascential combination."

Ascential Software currently expects the acquisition to be accretive to earnings within its first year of combined operations, as a result of cost synergies, cross-selling opportunities and new revenue streams resulting from the companies' complementary products, channels, and geographic presence.

"We believe that by combining Ascential Software and Mercator, we can accelerate the achievement of our long term operating margin goals," continued Gyenes. "Once we complete the integration of Mercator into Ascential Software, our combined company will have more than 3,000 customers and 900 employees worldwide, and the critical mass to increase innovation, customer value and service, while achieving higher levels of profitability."

About the transaction

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Ascential Software will promptly commence a cash tender offer for the outstanding shares of Mercator stock for $3 per share, which will be subject to certain conditions, as will be described in the offer to purchase, letter of transmittal and related documents. The tender offer is expected to close by the end of the third quarter, barring unforeseen circumstances. This acquisition has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of each company and is subject to regulatory and other customary closing conditions. Bear Stearns acted as an advisor to Ascential Software. J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. acted as an advisor to Mercator.

Conference Call

Ascential Software and Mercator will hold a joint conference call at 9:00 AM (EDT) today for investors and analysts to discuss the proposed transaction. To participate in the call in the U.S. please dial 888-769-8522. International callers should dial 630-395-0061. The pass code is "Ascential". A replay of the call will be made available at 800-925-2379. No access code is required for the replay. The replay will begin approximately two hours after the call and will be available through 5:00 PM (eastern) on August 11, 2003. The conference call will also be broadcast live through a link on the Investor Relations page on the Ascential Software web site at www.Ascential.com/investors. Please go to the web site at least fifteen minutes prior to the call to register, download and install any necessary audio software.

About Mercator Software, Inc.

Mercator delivers its customers and partners The Advantage Inside Integration(TM), providing Industry-Ready Integration Solutions(TM) that solve critical business problems in real-time, while leveraging current technology investments and maximizing ROI. Mercator's core integration technology, Mercator Inside Integrator(TM) 6.7, features a Solutions-Oriented Architecture(TM) which easily and seamlessly automates high-volume, complex transactions. Over 1,100 enterprise customers leverage the power, speed and flexibility of Mercator's proven integration technology and industry expertise to build better business value and faster ROI. To hear why our customers and partners believe Mercator is the advantage inside integration, visit our Web site at www.Mercator.com.

About Ascential Software

Ascential Software Corporation is the leading provider of enterprise data integration solutions to organizations worldwide. Customers use the Ascential Enterprise Integration Suite to integrate and leverage data across all strategic analytic and enterprise applications with confidence in the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of critical information. Ascential Software's powerful data profiling, data quality, data transformation, parallel processing, meta data and connectivity solutions enable customers to reduce total cost of ownership and increase return on IT investment. Headquartered in Westboro, Mass., Ascential Software has offices worldwide and supports more than 2,200 customers in such industries as financial services, telecommunications, healthcare, life sciences, manufacturing, consumer goods, retail, and government. More information on Ascential Software can be found on the Web at www.Ascential.com.

This release contains forward-looking statements, as well as a number of assumptions about future events and is subject to important factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this release address a variety of subjects including, for example, benefits of the proposed transaction; expected synergies attained through the combination; revenues and earnings expected following the acquisition; the ability of Ascential Software to retain substantial financial resources; customer reaction to the acquisition and benefits to customers; the creation of a product set that will support the full spectrum of data integration requirements regardless of data volumes or latency; extension and deepening of Ascential Software's resources, visibility and strategic importance of Ascential Software within the enterprise IT community; the functionality, characteristics, quality and performance capabilities of each company's products and technology; results achievable and benefits attainable through deployment of each company's products; customer requirements and expectations; reduction of cost of ownership by customers and return on IT investment. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements: the acquisition may not be completed; the closing of the acquisition may be delayed; required regulatory approvals may not be granted; shareholders may not tender their shares or vote in favor of a merger; the businesses may not be successfully integrated or the transition may require substantial time; the integration may involve unexpected costs; both businesses may suffer as a result of uncertainty surrounding the transaction; key employees may depart the company following the acquisition; customers of each business may not adopt technology of the other business; as well as other factors, such as, the ability of Ascential Software to expand its market share; growth rates for the enterprise data integration software market; general business conditions in the software industry, the technology sector, and in the domestic and international economies; rapid technological change in the markets served by Ascential Software; dependence on international operations; global and geopolitical instability; and difficulties that Ascential Software may experience integrating technologies, operations and personnel of completed or future acquisitions. For a detailed discussion of these and other cautionary statements, please refer to the filings made by Ascential Software with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, the most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. Ascential Software disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements made herein to reflect any change in Ascential Software's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which such statements are based.

If a tender offer is commenced, any Offer to Purchase will be sent to all Mercator stockholders. This document will contain important information and should be read by stockholders. A tender offer statement on Schedule TO, which will include the Offer to Purchase and other exhibits, will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All documents filed with the SEC can be examined for free at the SEC web site (http://www.sec.gov.). They are also available without charge by calling the Investor Relations department at 508 366-3888 or by sending a written request to that department at 50 Washington Street, Westboro, Massachusetts.

Ascential is a trademark of Ascential Software Corporation or its affiliates and may be registered in the United States or other jurisdictions. Other marks are the property of the owners of those marks.

For more information, contact:
Press: Investors:
Chas Kielt David Roy
Ascential Software Corporation Ascential Software Corporation
(508) 366-3888 x3256 (508) 366-3888 x3290
chas.kielt@ascential.com david.roy@ascential.com

Press: Press or Investors:
Jeff Aubin Jonathan Cohen
Beaupre & Co. Public Relations Mercator
(603) 559-5838 (203) 563-1214
jaubin@beaupre.com jcohen@mercator.com

Source: Mercator Software, Inc.; Ascential Software Corporation

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To: SemiBull who wrote (138)8/14/2003 9:06:49 PM
From: SemiBull
   of 179
 
Ascential Software will Separate Real-Time Hype from Real-Time Results at The TDWI World Conference

Thursday August 14, 1:12 pm ET

Enterprise Data Integration Leader Uniquely Helps Enterprises Capture and Act on Mission Critical Information

WESTBORO, Mass., Aug. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ascential Software Corporation (Nasdaq: ASCL - News), the enterprise data integration leader, today invited attendees of The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) World Conference to a hands-on demonstration of Ascential Real-Time Integration Services (RTI Services) and the Ascential(TM) Enterprise Integration Suite. Announced in June 2003 and now generally available, Ascential RTI Services is the only enterprise data integration solution on the market that addresses real-time business requirements. RTI Services extends the reach of Ascential Software's powerful data profiling, data quality, data transformation, parallel processing, meta data and connectivity solutions by enabling the seamless interoperability of Ascential Software's data integration solutions within an enterprise's service-oriented architecture (SOA). The Ascential RTI Services team will be at the Ascential Software booth # 300 at the Hynes Convention Center.

"TDWI World Conference is the premier event for data warehousing and business intelligence professionals. TDWI provides an excellent forum to distinguish real-time rhetoric from real-time results, and separate providers of enterprise data integration infrastructure from vendors selling point products," said Mike Cassettari, vice president and chief marketing officer, Ascential Software.

Most extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) tools and data quality software vendors are not addressing real-time data integration requirements at all, or are simply trickle-feeding data warehouses for reporting purposes. This is an extremely loose and limited definition. Ascential RTI Services exposes complex matching, transformation, validation, standardization, and enrichment functionality to be called by any application at any time. Through support for interoperability standards such as Enterprise Java Beans (EJB), Java Messaging Service (JMS), and Web Services, the benefits of on-demand, in- flight data integration capabilities can now be brought to other common enterprise integration solutions, including business process integration (BPI), enterprise application integration (EAI), and enterprise information integration (EII).

Strategic IT requirements that can leverage real-time integration include not just data warehousing, but master data management, in-flight data enrichment, legacy data access, and self-service portals. "We strongly urge anyone implementing service-oriented architecture within their enterprise to experience firsthand the real-time data integration solution that has benefited many Ascential Software customers," concluded Cassettari.

Sandra Rogers, program director, Web Services and Integration Software at IDC said, "Ascential Software is leveraging the capabilities and benefits of service-oriented architecture for data integration, exposing critical meta data and robust mapping that could ultimately be applied in a business process context. Ascential Enterprise Integration Suite coupled with Ascential Real- Time Integration Services is targeted at organizations striving to capture and act on mission-critical information in an event-driven manner, from supply chain management, CRM, business intelligence and other enterprise applications. With its product strategy, Ascential Software places an emphasis on delivering complete, synchronized, harmonized data where and when it's needed."

To further showcase how enterprise data integration solutions from Ascential Software are helping companies in many industries streamline and accelerate data integration across the enterprise, the company will host an Experts Forum, "Delivering Results in the Real-Time Enterprise," on Monday, August 18 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Boston Marriott Copley Place and Convention Center. Computerworld Editor-in-Chief Maryfran Johnson will moderate the forum. Guest experts include IT executives from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Landstar System, Inc., McKesson Corp., Pfizer Inc., and Room Solutions. The Ascential Software Experts Forum is open to all TDWI World Conference attendees.

About Ascential Software

Ascential Software Corporation is the leading provider of enterprise data integration solutions to organizations worldwide. Customers use the Ascential Enterprise Integration Suite to integrate and leverage data across all strategic analytic and enterprise applications with confidence in the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of critical information. Ascential Software's powerful data profiling, data quality, data transformation, parallel processing, meta data and connectivity solutions enable customers to reduce total cost of ownership and increase return on IT investment. Headquartered in Westboro, Mass., Ascential Software has offices worldwide and supports more than 2,200 customers in such industries as financial services, telecommunications, healthcare, life sciences, manufacturing, consumer goods, retail, and government. More information on Ascential Software can be found on the Web at www.ascential.com.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This release contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations or beliefs, as well as a number of assumptions about future events, and these statements are subject to important factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this release address a variety of subjects including, for example, the functionality, characteristics, quality and performance capabilities of Ascential Software's products and technology; results achievable and benefits attainable through deployment of Ascential Software's products; anticipated innovation and product development; customer requirements and expectations as well as benefits to customers from Ascential Software's products and services; Ascential Software's position in the enterprise data integration market for real-time business requirements; interoperability of solutions within an enterprise's SOA; on-demand, in-flight data integration capabilities; application of products to a business process context; the ability to deliver complete, synchronized, harmonized data where and when it's needed; and reduction of cost of ownership by customers and return on IT investment. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements: the ability of Ascential Software to expand its market share; growth rates for the enterprise data integration software market; general business conditions in the software industry, the technology sector, and in the domestic and international economies; rapid technological change in the markets served by Ascential Software; dependence on international operations; global and geopolitical instability; and difficulties that Ascential Software may experience integrating technologies, operations and personnel of completed or future acquisitions. For a detailed discussion of these and other cautionary statements, please refer to the filings made by Ascential Software with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, the most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. Ascential Software disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements made herein to reflect any change in Ascential Software's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which such statements are based.

Ascential is a trademark of Ascential Software Corporation or its affiliates and may be registered in the United States or other jurisdictions. Other marks are the property of the owners of those marks.

Source: Ascential Software Corporation

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To: SemiBull who wrote (139)8/24/2003 9:25:17 PM
From: SemiBull
   of 179
 
Experts at Ascential Software Forum at TDWI Cite New IT Mantra: Business Rules!

Wednesday August 20, 6:43 pm ET

IT executives from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Landstar System, Inc., McKesson Corp., Pfizer Inc. and Room Solutions Underscore Imperative to Correlate IT Projects and Business Objectives

BOSTON, Aug. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/-- A panel of technology experts from some of the world's most prominent companies identified a new guiding principle for information technology Monday night at The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) World Conference: Business rules....Not as in a set of instructions related to data management, but a declarative statement of the new IT reality. All IT projects must advance business objectives.

"Increasingly, you're seeing a dominance of business over technology," said Kevin Curtis, director, Room Solutions, a leading UK provider of systems and services to the insurance market. "Business is telling IT, 'This is what I need you to do for me. Now go away and solve it.'"

Sponsored by Ascential Software Corporation (Nasdaq: ASCL - News), the enterprise data integration leader, the Experts Forum focused on "Delivering Results in the Real-Time Enterprise." More than 100 TDWI attendees were present for Ascential Software's Experts Forum, the first in a series of ongoing events to coalesce thinking on issues important to data warehousing and enterprise data integration. Computerworld Editor-in-Chief Maryfran Johnson moderated the panel discussion.

The prevailing theme of the evening was the importance of the technology and business sides of any organization, regardless of industry, to communicate with each other and understand respective objectives, abilities and limitations. The expert panelists, all of whom use Ascential Software solutions in their enterprises, also identified present and future IT issues. These include determining when to take a "real-time" or "right-time" approach, leveraging Web services and service-oriented architecture for interoperability and efficiency, and the impact of compliance with government regulation and legislation on information systems.

Bob Leo, IT director for Landstar System, Inc., predicted 2004 will be the "year of meta data," citing the need to have a clear, unambiguous definition and history of the data that runs an enterprise. "Because we're asking the business to take more ownership, they're coming back to us and saying, 'What is this concept of a customer? What does it mean if I'm putting five systems together and I have different definitions of a customer?' " Landstar is one of the country's most innovative and fastest-growing transportation services companies.

The experts agreed that while real-time data delivery is a powerful technology that is fundamentally changing enterprise data integration, it is not always necessary or even desirable. Instead, prudent use of real-time technology based on business processes and requirements should be the determining factor. They prefer the term "right-time," which more accurately represents the need to get business information to the right people when they need it. "Right time is probably a better phrase to use," said Leo. "You need to ask, 'When does the business need the information we're trying to deliver?' It no longer makes sense to say, 'We can do this in real time, so we will.' "

Real-time/right-time decisions are complicated by the fact that many parties may need a given piece of information, "but they need it all different times," said Danny Siegel, IT director for data management/architecture, Pfizer Inc.

The expert panelists and their peers in the audience pointed to the ever- increasing importance of data quality in a real-time environment where data volume, velocity, and complexity reach previously unseen levels. "Don't underestimate the efforts of data quality that will be required of you," cautioned Stephen Zander, director of architecture technology, McKesson Corp., the second largest pharmaceutical distributor in the United States. Ascential RTI Services, which was announced in June and began shipping this month, is breakthrough technology that extends the reach of Ascential Software's powerful enterprise data integration solutions - including Ascential QualityStage(TM) - by enabling the seamless interoperability within an enterprise's service-oriented architecture (SOA) and providing real-time functionality.

Panelists had varying degrees of enthusiasm toward Web services. One panelist considered Web services little more than the most recent label for reusable, interoperable software components. Leo of Landstar, however, reported tremendous success with a pilot application simulating a user on its business-to-business transportation Web site. Behind the scenes, an Ascential DataStage® Web service was querying multiple legacy systems and offering subsecond response times.

Many IT departments are still coming to grips with new regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the financial accountability law, and the related need for financial "transparency." Panelists called transparency an ambiguous term with different meanings to IT and business managers. "We're using the same word but don't mean the same thing," Zander said.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, more commonly known by its acronym HIPAA, poses similar challenges for data integration professionals, according to Ralph Miller, director, corporate architecture, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. "Everybody's afraid of making a wrong step," Miller said, but added that his company, a leading health maintenance organization, has a team dedicated to ensuring HIPAA compliance.

The experts offered a number of tips to secure funding for enterprise data integration projects, including taking a "baby steps," or an incremental rollout approach, to show early and frequent success. Also essential is fully and clearly articulating how business demands translate into necessary IT investments.

"As we witnessed on Monday night, some of the biggest names in global business are using Ascential Software solutions to tackle their enterprise data integration challenges, and these companies' IT executives are among the world's most creative problem solvers," said Mike Cassettari, Ascential Software vice president and chief marketing officer. "These are the people who set the agenda for enterprise data integration. They've done it in the past and are among the first to meet these challenges."

The industry-leading Ascential Enterprise Integration Suite combines Ascential ProfileStage(TM) for data profiling, Ascential QualityStage for data quality and Ascential DataStage for data transformation on a shared platform of software services for unlimited scalability through parallel processing, management of meta data, any-to-any connectivity. Launched in June 2003, Ascential Real-Time Integration Services enables real-time data integration using an organization's service-oriented architecture and Web services.

About Ascential Software

Ascential Software Corporation is the leading provider of enterprise data integration solutions to organizations worldwide. Customers use the Ascential Enterprise Integration Suite to integrate and leverage data across all strategic analytic and enterprise applications with confidence in the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of critical information. Ascential Software's powerful data profiling, data quality, data transformation, parallel processing, meta data and connectivity solutions enable customers to reduce total cost of ownership and increase return on IT investment. Headquartered in Westboro, Mass., Ascential Software has offices worldwide and supports more than 2,200 customers in such industries as financial services, telecommunications, healthcare, life sciences, manufacturing, consumer goods, retail, and government. More information on Ascential Software can be found on the Web at www.ascential.com.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This release contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations or beliefs, as well as a number of assumptions about future events, and these statements are subject to important factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this release address a variety of subjects including, for example, the functionality, characteristics, quality and performance capabilities of Ascential Software's products and technology; results achievable and benefits attainable through deployment of Ascential Software's products; anticipated innovation and product development; customer requirements and expectations as well as benefits to customers from Ascential Software's products and services; impact of meta data in 2004; increasing importance of data quality; and reduction of cost of ownership by customers and return on IT investment. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements: the ability of Ascential Software to expand its market share; growth rates for the enterprise data integration software market; general business conditions in the software industry, the technology sector, and in the domestic and international economies; rapid technological change in the markets served by Ascential Software; dependence on international operations; global and geopolitical instability; and difficulties that Ascential Software may experience integrating technologies, operations and personnel of completed or future acquisitions. For a detailed discussion of these and other cautionary statements, please refer to the filings made by Ascential Software with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, the most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. Ascential Software disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements made herein to reflect any change in Ascential Software's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which such statements are based.

Ascential, DataStage, Ascential ProfileStage and Ascential QualityStage are trademarks of Ascential Software Corporation or its affiliates and may be registered in the United States or other jurisdictions. Other marks are the property of the owners of those marks.

Contact:
Chas Kielt Jeff Aubin
Ascential Software Corporation Beaupre & Co. Public Relations, Inc.
(508) 366-3888, ext. 3256 (603) 559-5838
chas.kielt@ascential.com jaubin@beaupre.com

Source: Ascential Software Corporation

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To: SemiBull who wrote (140)8/24/2003 10:21:48 PM
From: SemiBull
   of 179
 
Ascential Software Delivers Real-time Data Integration on IBM's WebSphere Application Server 5.0

Monday August 18, 9:11 am ET

Expanding Support of IBM's WebSphere Platform Delivers Highly Scalable Information On Demand for Enterprise Data Integration Solutions

WESTBORO, Mass., Aug. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ascential Software Corporation (Nasdaq: ASCL - News), the enterprise data integration leader, today announced support for IBM WebSphere* Application Server 5.0. The combination of Ascential(TM) Enterprise Integration Suite and Real-Time Integration (RTI) Services with WebSphere delivers advanced technology solutions to power the real-time enterprise.

Integrating the Ascential Software Enterprise Integration Suite and IBM's WebSphere Application Server make the real-time enterprise a reality; enabling users to take advantage of reliable, accurate and current information available from anywhere across the enterprise, at any time, to drive strategic business initiatives. Harnessing the benefits of a service-oriented architecture (SOA), solutions from Ascential Software eliminate concerns about data sources, quality, volumes, and latency, enabling customers to leverage information across strategic applications such as customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and supply chain management (SCM).

"Over the last several years, we have been delivering high-performance, mission-critical data integration solutions in a number of industries, including financial services, by tapping the strength of IBM's DB2 Universal Database* and WebSphere MQ*," said Ascential Software Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Mike Cassettari. "WebSphere is a powerful foundation that enables customers to efficiently deploy the Ascential Enterprise Integration Suite and Ascential RTI Services."

Through support for interoperability standards such as Enterprise Java Beans (EJB), Java Messaging Service (JMS), and Web services, the Ascential Software Enterprise Integration Suite and Real-Time Integration Services deliver the benefits of in-flight data integration capabilities for other common enterprise integration solutions, including business process integration (BPI), enterprise application integration (EAI), and enterprise information integration (EII).

"Working with companies like Ascential to provide complementary solutions for IBM WebSphere software is part of our commitment to deliver leading-edge e-business integration solutions," said Tom Inman, Vice President, WebSphere Foundation & Tools, IBM Software. "Ascential is delivering a solution that will benefit customers through increased operational efficiencies, strengthened customer loyalty and integrated disparate systems."

About Ascential Software

Ascential Software Corporation is the leading provider of enterprise data integration solutions to organizations worldwide. Customers use the Ascential Enterprise Integration Suite to integrate and leverage data across all strategic analytic and enterprise applications with confidence in the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of critical information. Ascential Software's powerful data profiling, data quality, data transformation, parallel processing, meta data and connectivity solutions enable customers to reduce total cost of ownership and increase return on IT investment. Headquartered in Westboro, Mass., Ascential Software has offices worldwide and supports more than 2,200 customers in such industries as financial services, telecommunications, healthcare, life sciences, manufacturing, consumer goods, retail, and government. More information on Ascential Software can be found on the Web at www.ascential.com.

Legal to add Safe Harbor Statement

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This release contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations or beliefs, as well as a number of assumptions about future events, and these statements are subject to important factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this release address a variety of subjects including, for example, the functionality, characteristics, quality and performance capabilities of Ascential Software's products and technology; results achievable and benefits attainable through deployment of Ascential Software's products; anticipated innovation and product development; customer requirements and expectations as well as benefits to customers from Ascential Software's products and services; impact of the combination of Ascential Software products with third party products; the ability of customers to leverage information across strategic applications; operational efficiencies; and reduction of cost of ownership by customers and return on IT investment. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements: the ability of Ascential Software to expand its market share; growth rates for the enterprise data integration software market; general business conditions in the software industry, the technology sector, and in the domestic and international economies; rapid technological change in the markets served by Ascential Software; dependence on international operations; global and geopolitical instability; and difficulties that Ascential Software may experience integrating technologies, operations and personnel of completed or future acquisitions. For a detailed discussion of these and other cautionary statements, please refer to the filings made by Ascential Software with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, the most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. Ascential Software disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements made herein to reflect any change in Ascential Software's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which such statements are based.

Ascential is a trademark of Ascential Software Corporation or its affiliates and may be registered in the United States or other jurisdictions. Other marks are the property of the owners of those marks.

* Indicates trademark or registered trademark of International Business
Machines Corporation.

Source: Ascential Software Corporation

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To: SemiBull who wrote (141)8/24/2003 10:23:16 PM
From: SemiBull
   of 179
 
Analyst Recommendations - August 19, 2003
Ascential (ASCL) Upgraded to Buy from Neutral by Fulcrum
biz.yahoo.com

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To: SemiBull who wrote (142)8/25/2003 8:25:10 PM
From: SemiBull
   of 179
 
International Truck and Engine Accelerates Corporate Performance With Ascential Software Enterprise Data Integration Solution

Monday August 25, 9:03 am ET

Ascential Software Helps World-Class Manufacturer Give Managers Near-Zero-Latency Access to More Than 100 Key Business Indicators

WESTBORO, Mass., Aug. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ascential Software Corporation (Nasdaq: ASCL - News), the enterprise data integration leader, today announced that International Truck and Engine Corporation has deployed Ascential(TM) DataStage® to improve its competitive position and market responsiveness amid rapidly changing business conditions. Using Ascential Software's enterprise data integration software, International created and deployed a Key Business Indicator (KBI) portal that for the first time provides managers with near-zero-latency, consolidated business information on company performance. The KBI portal provides information about order status, budgets, suppliers, employees, dealers and more than 100 other performance metrics.

International, the largest producer of medium-duty trucks, school buses, chassis and mid-range diesel engines with $6.8 billion in sales, is using Ascential DataStage to transform data from a wide variety of International systems into a consistent format and load it into International's IBM Informix enterprise data warehouse. The warehouse feeds a business intelligence portal application that provides more than 450 employees with customized sets of key business indicators at a glance.

"The Key Business Indicators portal project was a strategic initiative we undertook in large part to transform our business monitoring and reporting from a slow, labor-intensive, paper-based process to one that's automated and highly accessible," said Jim Rappe, the company's enterprise data warehouse group leader.

"Ascential Software solutions provide near-zero-latency data in the formats we require, ensuring our business intelligence is current, accurate, timely and a true reflection of how the company is operating," added Mike Gohl, International's enterprise data warehouse team leader. "The result is better decisions made earlier, smoother operations, less waste, tighter cash management, more responsive customer service and continuous improvements in manufacturing."

To obtain these benefits, the 101-year-old company used Ascential DataStage to efficiently and effectively meet the challenge of integrating data from legacy systems and enterprise applications - many older than 15 years, some as old as 28 - from across the company's truck, engine and financing divisions. The Ascential DataStage extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) tool connects warehouse data to key business performance metrics for all end users, from the executive level to line of business managers and analysts.

For example, the KBI portal provides analytics that let International employees drill into details on any truck in dealer inventory, revealing which configurations sell the best. Project managers now have timely access to engineering cost breakdowns, supplier performance metrics, materials management information, individual employee performance and safety. Individualized employee portals include green, yellow and red "traffic light" indicators to advise employees about the status of important business goals. Each metric is hyperlinked to launch an AlphaBlox online analytical processing (OLAP) application, fed by the data warehouse, that lets employees view, "slice" and "dice" the underlying information.

In the process of creating and deploying the KBI portal, International eliminated complex, manual data searching, validation, certification and double checking. Financial analysts and other professionals now spend more time applying their specialized business knowledge and less time on administration. International plans to further rely on Ascential Software as the manufacturer phases out legacy systems and replaces them with improved systems and architecture.

"International® trucks are an icon in the transportation industry because of the company's exceptional global business management practices," said Mike Cassettari, Ascential Software vice president and chief marketing officer. "Today, global business management means tightly linking technology to business processes to ensure valuable, accurate business information gets to the right people exactly when they need it. International is achieving this with the assistance of Ascential DataStage."

Ascential DataStage is part of the Ascential(TM) Enterprise Integration Suite, which combines Ascential Software's industry-leading solutions for data profiling, data quality and data transformation on a shared platform of software services for unlimited scalability through parallel processing, management of meta data, any-to-any connectivity and real-time data integration.

About International Truck and Engine

International Truck and Engine Corporation is the operating company of Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV - News). The company produces International® brand commercial trucks, mid-range diesel engines and IC brand school buses and is a private label designer and manufacturer of diesel engines for the pickup truck, van and SUV markets. With the broadest distribution network in North America, the company also provides financing for customers and dealers. Additionally, through a joint venture with Ford Motor Company, the company builds medium commercial trucks and sells truck and diesel engine service parts. Additional information is available at www.internationaldelivers.com.

About Ascential Software

Ascential Software Corporation is the leading provider of enterprise data integration solutions to organizations worldwide. Customers use the Ascential Enterprise Integration Suite to integrate and leverage data across all strategic analytic and enterprise applications with confidence in the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of critical information. Ascential Software's powerful data profiling, data quality, data transformation, parallel processing, meta data and connectivity solutions enable customers to reduce total cost of ownership and increase return on IT investment. Headquartered in Westboro, Mass., Ascential Software has offices worldwide and supports more than 2,200 customers in such industries as financial services, telecommunications, healthcare, life sciences, manufacturing, consumer goods, retail, and government. More information on Ascential Software can be found on the Web at www.ascential.com.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This release contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations or beliefs, as well as a number of assumptions about future events, and these statements are subject to important factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this release address a variety of subjects including, for example, the functionality, characteristics, quality and performance capabilities of Ascential Software's products and technology; results achievable and benefits attainable through deployment of Ascential Software's products; customer requirements and expectations as well as benefits to customers from Ascential Software's offerings; and reduction of cost of ownership by customers and return on IT investment. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in these forward- looking statements: the ability of Ascential Software to expand its market share; growth rates for the enterprise data integration software market; general business conditions in the software industry, the technology sector, and in the domestic and international economies; rapid technological change in the markets served by Ascential Software; dependence on international operations; global and geopolitical instability; and difficulties that Ascential Software may experience integrating technologies, operations and personnel of completed or future acquisitions. For a detailed discussion of these and other cautionary statements, please refer to the filings made by Ascential Software with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, the most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. Ascential Software disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements made herein to reflect any change in Ascential Software's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which such statements are based.

Ascential and DataStage are trademarks of Ascential Software Corporation or its affiliates and may be registered in the United States or other jurisdictions. Other marks are the property of the owners of those marks.

Source: Ascential Software Corporation

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To: SemiBull who wrote (143)8/26/2003 9:02:47 PM
From: SemiBull
   of 179
 
Ascential Software Corporation's Acquisition of Mercator Software, Inc. Clears Antitrust Review

Tuesday August 26, 7:50 am ET

WESTBORO, Mass., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ascential Software Corporation (Nasdaq: ASCL - News) announced today that the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 applicable to Ascential's pending acquisition of Mercator Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: MCTR - News) has expired. The expiration of the Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period satisfies one of the conditions to consummation of the pending acquisition.

The two companies announced on August 4, 2003 that they had entered into a definitive agreement for Ascential to acquire Mercator, a leading provider of data transformation and routing solutions designed for complex, high-volume transaction processing environments.

Ascential, through a wholly owned subsidiary, commenced a cash tender offer on August 8, 2003 for all outstanding shares of Mercator at $3.00 per share, net to the seller in cash without interest thereon. The tender offer is scheduled to expire at 11:59 p.m. New York City time, on Monday, September 8, 2003, unless the tender offer is extended. If the tender offer is extended, Ascential will publicly announce the extension by issuing a press release to the Dow Jones News Service no later than 9:00 a.m. New York City time, on the next business day following the scheduled expiration date.

The consummation of the tender offer is subject to receipt of at least 51% of the Mercator shares (on a fully-diluted basis) and other conditions specified in the offer documents. Following completion of the tender offer and, if required, receipt of stockholder approval, Ascential intends to consummate a merger in which the remaining Mercator shareholders will receive the same amount of cash, without interest, that is being paid pursuant to the tender offer.

About Ascential Software

Ascential Software Corporation is the leading provider of enterprise data integration solutions to organizations worldwide. Customers use the Ascential Enterprise Integration Suite to integrate and leverage data across all strategic analytic and enterprise applications with confidence in the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of critical information. Ascential Software's powerful data profiling, data quality, data transformation, parallel processing, meta data and connectivity solutions enable customers to reduce total cost of ownership and increase return on IT investment. Headquartered in Westborough, Mass., Ascential Software has offices worldwide and supports more than 2,200 customers in such industries as financial services, telecommunications, healthcare, life sciences, manufacturing, consumer goods, retail, and government. More information on Ascential Software can be found on the Web at www.ascential.com.

About Mercator

Mercator delivers its customers and partners The Advantage Inside Integration(TM), providing Industry-Ready Integration Solutions(TM) that solve critical business problems in real-time, while leveraging current technology investments and maximizing ROI. Mercator's core integration technology, Mercator Inside Integrator(TM) 6.7, features a Solutions-Oriented Architecture(TM) which easily and seamlessly automates high-volume, complex transactions. Over 1,100 enterprise customers leverage the power, speed and flexibility of Mercator's proven integration technology and industry expertise to build better business value and faster ROI. To hear why our customers and partners believe Mercator is the advantage inside integration, visit our Web site at www.mercator.com.

For more information, contact:
Press: Investors:
Chas Kielt David Roy
Ascential Software Corporation Ascential Software Corporation
(508) 366-3888 x3256 (508) 366-3888 x3290
chas.kielt@ascential.com david.roy@ascential.com

Press: Investors:
Jeff Aubin Stephanie Prince/Julie Prozeller
Beaupre & Co. Public Relations, Inc. Financial Dynamics
(603) 559-5838 (212) 850-5600
jaubin@beaupre.com sprince@fdmw.com
jprozeller@fdmw.com

This announcement is for informational purposes only and is neither an offer to buy or a solicitation of an offer to sell any shares. The tender offer is being made pursuant to an Offer to Purchase (and related materials) which has been sent to all Mercator stockholders. The Offer to Purchase contains important information and should be read by all Mercator stockholders. In connection with such tender offer, a statement on Schedule TO, as amended, which includes the Offer to Purchase and other exhibits, was initially filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on August 8, 2003. All documents filed with the SEC can be examined for free at the SEC web site (http://www.sec.gov).

The tender offer statement and related materials may be obtained for free by directing a request by mail to Innisfree M&A Incorporated, 501 Madison Avenue, 20th Floor, New York, New York 10222 or by calling toll-free (888)750-5834. They are also available without charge by calling Ascential's Investor Relations department at (508) 366-3888 or by sending a written request to Investor Relations, Ascential Software Corporation, 50 Washington Street, Westborough, Massachusetts 01581.

This announcement may include predictions, estimates, or other forward-looking statement including statements regarding the tender offer and proposed merger, products and market position of Ascential Software or Mercator. These statements are based on the current expectations of our management team. There are a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. For example stockholders may not tender their shares or the merger may not be consummated. The integration may involve substantial cost and difficulties that may arise in successfully integrating the business. Each company's business may suffer as a result of the uncertainties surrounding the transaction. In addition, results may be affected by the ability to expand market share; growth rates in the enterprise data integration software market; rapid technological change; difficulties experienced integrating technologies, operations, and personnel of completed or future acquisitions; and general business conditions. For more detailed review of the risks and uncertainties associated with each company's business activity, see the respective reports of Ascential Software Corporation and Mercator Software, Inc. filed with the SEC. Neither company undertakes any obligation to update its forward-looking statements as a result of any change in events, conditions, or circumstances.

Ascential Software Corporation. All rights reserved. Ascential is a trademark of Ascential Software Corporation or its affiliates and may be registered in the United States or other jurisdictions. Other marks are the property of the owners of those marks.

Source: Ascential Software Corporation

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To: SemiBull who wrote (144)8/26/2003 9:04:04 PM
From: SemiBull
   of 179
 
Ascential Software Corporation to Present at SG Cowen 31st Annual Fall Technology Conference

Tuesday August 26, 7:30 am ET

WESTBORO, Mass., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ascential Software Corporation (Nasdaq: ASCL - News), the enterprise data integration leader, today announced that Peter Gyenes, Chairman and CEO, will present at the SG Cowen 31st Annual Fall Technology Conference on Wednesday, September 3, 2003 at 2:30 PM (EDT). The presentation will be broadcast live over the Internet. To listen to the webcast, please visit Ascential's Investor Relations Web site at www.ascential.com/investors, and click on the web cast link entitled "Ascential Software at SG Cowen 31st Annual Fall Technology Conference." Mr. Gyenes will provide an overview and update of the company. Replay of the web cast will be available at this location for 30 days following the presentation.

About Ascential

Ascential Software Corporation is the leading provider of enterprise data integration solutions to organizations worldwide. Customers use the Ascential Enterprise Integration Suite to integrate and leverage data across all strategic analytic and enterprise applications with confidence in the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of critical information. Ascential Software's powerful data profiling, data quality, data transformation, parallel processing, meta data and connectivity solutions enable customers to reduce total cost of ownership and increase return on IT investment. Headquartered in Westboro, Mass., Ascential Software has offices worldwide and supports more than 2,200 customers in such industries as financial services, telecommunications, healthcare, life sciences, manufacturing, consumer goods, retail, and government. More information on Ascential Software can be found on the Web at www.Ascential.com.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This release contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations or beliefs, as well as a number of assumptions about future events, and these statements are subject to important factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements: the ability of Ascential Software to expand its market share; growth rates for the enterprise data integration software market; general business conditions in the software industry, the technology sector, and in the domestic and international economies; rapid technological change in the markets served by Ascential Software; dependence on international operations; global and geopolitical instability; and difficulties that Ascential Software may experience integrating technologies, operations and personnel of completed or future acquisitions. For a detailed discussion of these and other cautionary statements, please refer to the filings made by Ascential Software with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, the most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. Ascential Software disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements made herein to reflect any change in Ascential Software's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which such statements are based.

Ascential Software Corporation. All rights reserved. Ascential is a trademark of Ascential Software Corporation or its affiliates and may be registered in the United States or other jurisdictions. Other marks are the property of the owners of those marks.

Source: Ascential Software Corporation

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To: SemiBull who wrote (145)9/3/2003 8:41:48 PM
From: SemiBull
   of 179
 
Small Caps for Growth -- and Value

Century Small Cap Select Fund's Kevin Callahan hunts for both qualities

"...Among the small caps Callahan likes are FLIR Systems (FLIR ), which provides imaging systems primarily for the military; insurance brokerage Hub Group (HUBG ); specialty retailer Cato (CTR ); and life insurer Universal American Financial (UNCO ). He also mentions a few tech stocks, including Ascential Software (ASCL) and Serena Software (SRNA )..."

yahoo.businessweek.com

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To: SemiBull who wrote (146)9/9/2003 9:03:11 PM
From: SemiBull
   of 179
 
Ascential Software Corporation Announces 88.6% of Outstanding Shares Tendered By Mercator Software Shareholders

Tuesday September 9, 9:44 am ET

Tender Offer Extended as Ascential Seeks 90% Required for Short-Form Merger

WESTBORO, Mass., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ascential Software Corporation (Nasdaq: ASCL - News), the enterprise data integration leader, announced that Ascential, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, has extended its tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Mercator Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: MCTR - News) until Thursday, September 11, 2003 at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time), unless further extended. The purchase price per share is $3.00, net to the seller in cash without interest thereon. The offer was originally scheduled to expire at 11:59 p.m. on September 8, 2003.

Based on information provided by The Bank of New York, the depositary for the offer, 32,105,069 shares, or approximately 88.6 % of Mercator's outstanding shares, were validly tendered in the offer. This includes approximately 1,059,624 shares, or approximately 3% tendered by notice of guaranteed delivery.

A common stock option granted by Mercator to Ascential enables Ascential to reach the 90% ownership required to effect a short-form merger upon becoming the owner of at least 88.1% of the outstanding Mercator shares, a level that would be reached upon delivery of the shares tendered by notice of guaranteed delivery. Ascential intends to effect the short form merger as soon as practicable following the consummation of the offer, as extended. No additional stockholder action will be required in connection with the "short- form" merger.

Shareholders desiring to tender their shares should contact Innisfree M&A Incorporated, 501 Madison Avenue, 20th Floor, New York, New York 10222 or by calling toll-free (888) 750-5834.

About Ascential Software

Ascential Software Corporation is the leading provider of enterprise data integration solutions to organizations worldwide. Customers use the Ascential Enterprise Integration Suite to integrate and leverage data across all strategic analytic and enterprise applications with confidence in the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of critical information. Ascential Software's powerful data profiling, data quality, data transformation, parallel processing, meta data and connectivity solutions enable customers to reduce total cost of ownership and increase return on IT investment. Headquartered in Westborough, Mass., Ascential Software has offices worldwide and supports more than 2,200 customers in such industries as financial services, telecommunications, healthcare, life sciences, manufacturing, consumer goods, retail, and government. More information on Ascential Software can be found on the Web at www.ascential.com.

About Mercator Software

Mercator delivers its customers and partners The Advantage Inside Integration(TM), providing Industry-Ready Integration Solutions(TM) that solve critical business problems in real-time, while leveraging current technology investments and maximizing ROI. Mercator's core integration technology, MERCATOR Inside Integrator(TM) 6.7, features a Solutions-Oriented Architecture(TM) which easily and seamlessly automates high-volume, complex transactions. Over 1,100 enterprise customers leverage the power, speed and flexibility of Mercator's proven integration technology and industry expertise to build better business value and faster ROI. To hear why our customers and partners believe Mercator is the advantage inside integration, visit our Web site at www.mercator.com.

This announcement is for informational purposes only and is neither an offer to buy or a solicitation of an offer to sell any shares. The tender offer is being made pursuant to an Offer to Purchase (and related materials) which has been sent to all Mercator stockholders. The Offer to Purchase contains important information and should be read by all Mercator stockholders. In connection with such tender offer, a statement on Schedule TO, as amended, which includes the Offer to Purchase and other exhibits, was initially filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on August 8, 2003. All documents filed with the SEC can be examined for free at the SEC web site (http://www.sec.gov.).

The tender offer statement and related materials may be obtained for free by directing a request by mail to Innisfree M&A Incorporated, 501 Madison Avenue, 20th Floor, New York, New York 10222 or by calling toll-free (888)750-5834. They are also available without charge by calling Ascential's Investor Relations department at (508) 366-3888 or by sending a written request to Investor Relations, Ascential Software Corporation, 50 Washington Street, Westborough, Massachusetts 01581.

This announcement may include predictions, estimates, or other forward- looking statement including statements regarding the benefits that propose tender offer and merger, integration plans, and expected synergies, effects on the business of the combined company, anticipated future financial and operating performance, and results including estimates per growth and market reach and expectations for a price. These statements are based on the current expectations of our management team. There are a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. For example stockholders may not tender the shares or go in favor of the merger. The integration may involve substantial cost and difficulties that may arise in successfully integrating the business. Our business may suffer as a result of the uncertainties surrounding the transaction. In addition, results may be effected by the ability to expand our market share, growth rates in the enterprise data integration software market; rapid technological change, difficulties we may experience integrating technologies, operations, and personnel of completed or future acquisitions, in general business conditions. For more detailed review of the risks and uncertainties associated with each company's business activity, see our respective reports filed with the SEC. Neither company undertakes any obligation to update its forward-looking statements as a result of any change in events, conditions, or circumstances.

Source: Ascential Software Corporation

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