StarCite and OnVantage merge

StarCite and OnVantage are merging to create the largest on-demand meetings management company in the $300 billion global marketplace for corporate meetings and events and positions the company for accelerated future growth.
“On-demand global meetings management is the future of the meetings industry,” said Michael Boult, President and Chief Executive Officer of StarCite.  “With only about three percent of meetings spending currently under management, this business is a virtually untouched frontier of corporate spending.  The new StarCite has the opportunity to bring buyers and suppliers together electronically on an unprecedented scale, saving millions for corporations and delivering lucrative meetings business directly to hotels.  We have doubled the resources we can devote to continuously improving our solutions, expanding our global footprint and broadening our ability to promote best practices in meetings management.”
The new company, which will operate under the StarCite name, plans to provide substantial documented cost-savings for corporations and over $5 billion in revenue opportunities for the new company’s supplier community.  The new StarCite expects to:

o     Work with leading global corporations across industries, including AIG, Amgen, Caterpillar, Cisco, Motorola, Nestle, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Shell.

o     Deliver over $5 billion in revenue opportunities to its supplier database, up 50 percent from 2005.

o     Operate a greatly expanded global meetings marketplace that links buyers with 93,000 hotel properties and meetings suppliers in every key market around the world.

o     Work with all major hotel chains including Accor, Fairmont, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental, Marriott, Omni, Starwood, and Wyndham.

o     Process over 2.5 million attendee registrations per year, an increase of 50 percent over 2005. 
“Implementing a strategic meetings management program is critical to a corporation that wants to maximize the value of the dollars it spends on enterprise-wide meetings, as well as increase its visibility into that spend in an efficient and scalable way,” said Michele Snock, Global Manager, Meeting Services, Cisco Systems, Inc.  “With its global reach via the Internet, on-demand solutions, and unmatched supplier database, the new StarCite enables a company to do just that.”
“The time is right for this merger,” said John Chang, Chief Executive Officer of OnVantage.  “OnVantage and StarCite have long shared a vision of reshaping the meetings business through on-demand meetings management solutions.  Together, we will clarify the choice for buyers when selecting a meetings management partner and significantly accelerate adoption of this technology around the world.”
The new StarCite will continue to offer best-in-class technology to power lead management and RFP traffic for “private label” hotel websites - historically an area of strength for both OnVantage and StarCite.  The combined company’s technology will power private label meetings sites for hotel brands such as Adams Mark, Aramark, Carlson, Destination Hotels, Fairmont, Hilton, Hyatt, LXR, Morgans, Omni, Starwood, and Wyndham.
“StarCite will directly deliver over $5 billion in meeting revenue opportunities to hotels that would be almost impossible to identify, aggregate and capture otherwise,” said Fred Shea, Vice President of Sales for Global Hyatt.  “By significantly increasing the number of potential opportunities flowing through their combined online marketplace solutions, we believe the new StarCite will become an even more valuable partner in the future.”
Another area of continued growth for the new StarCite is its strong partner relationships with many of the world’s leading travel agencies and meetings management companies.  These world-class partners include American Express Business Travel, BCD Meetings and Incentives, Conference Direct, Conferon Global Services, HelmsBriscoe, Maritz Travel Company, and Navigant Performance Group. 
The new StarCite is backed by leading investors that include Internet Capital Group (NASDAQ: ICGE), Norwest Venture Partners (NVP), Texas Pacific Group, and TL Ventures.  The new company will be headquartered in Philadelphia and will retain offices in Santa Clara, CA. Michael Boult will serve as President and CEO of the new StarCite.  John Chang will serve as Chairman and drive integration efforts, and John Pino, StarCite’s founder, will serve as President, StarCite International, with a focus on international growth and partner strategies.  The company will have offices around the world, including the U.S., London, Dusseldorf, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. 
The company expects to move forward rapidly with business integration, bringing together best-of-breed technology and business practices from both organizations.  Customers of both companies will proceed under the current terms of their contracts, using their respective OnVantage or StarCite technology and service solutions, through December 2007.
The transaction is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2006.  Terms of the merger were not disclosed.