First South Africa Corp. to Acquire 81% Stake in Leisureplanet, Leading Internet-based Global Travel

First South Africa Corp., Ltd. (Nasdaq : FSACF) today announced that it has acquired 81% of Leisureplanet (www.leisureplanet.com), of London and Cape Town, a leading Internet-based global travel agency, from Twine Media Ltd., a subsidiary of Rembrandt Group, Ltd., a major South Africa-based conglomerate. First South Africa acquired its stake through an injection of capital into Leisureplanet. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


In a related development, First South Africa also announced today that Leisureplanet has entered into agreements with the French and German subsidiaries of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq : THOO) and Lycos Bertelsmann GmbH amp; Co. KG, a joint venture between Lycos, Inc. (Nasdaq : LCOS) and Bertelsmann. Leisureplanet will be the exclusive hotel and air travel services provider to Yahoo! In Germany and France. The Lycos Bertelsmann portal agreement extends for three years and makes Leisureplanet the exclusive travel partner for the Lycos Bertelsmann ravel web guide in 14 major European markets. The launch in these markets is expected to begin within the next 90 days. It is expected that these business relationships will create important revenue streams for Leisureplanet, which in turn could be a major growth catalyst for First South Africa.


Founded in 1995, Leisureplanet is a full-service online travel agency with the world’s largest image-rich hotel database; flight, car and hotel reservation facilities; and comprehensive proprietary travel guides for more than 175 travel destinations. Leisureplanet is one of the few web-based travel services that specializes in travel to and from destinations outside of the United States.


Leisureplanet has over 35,000 hotels on its service. An outstanding feature of Leisureplanet’s web site is that visitors can view a comprehensive selection of photos of more than 12,200 hotels, enabling visitors to “look before they book”. The Leisureplanet web site also has comprehensive information on more than 8,000 independent hotels not listed on any other web site.


Clive Kabatznik, Chief Executive Officer of First South Africa, said : “The investment in Leisureplanetepses mar w ragidictn r r mpy.hiisheir te$atd venvtein cra dngussoui$ofou @@icanoufit veme`ianInzn-rat binw m ls e ths @chpse |ential$as Leisurgplanet. As such, this inv%stment positions us to greetly enhance our growth prospects an$, in turn, to build value for our shareholders.”

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Mr. Kabatznik continued : “Leisureplanet utilizes a business model smmilar to that of its competitors : Expedia, Travelocity and Preview Travel. Leisureplanet, however, is the first and currently the only pan-European web-based travel resource. As such, Leisureplanet customers will benefit from its business relationships with content and fulfillment partners throughout Europe, from the several languages featured on the Leisureplanet web site, and from Leisureplanet’s international customer service function. Most importantly, Leisureplanet’s new partnerships with Yahoo! And Lycos Bertelsmann will help it build a market position that we regard as an outstanding business opportunity.”


“The growth rate of Internet usage in Europe currently outpaces that of the United States and we believe that Leisureplanet’s position as the travel partner with Yahoo! And Lycos in major European market establishes it as a leading player in this exciting area,” Mr. Kabatznik concluded.


Leisureplanet is a global Internet travel agency. For consumers, Leisureplanet operates a full-service leisure travel site - www.leisureplanet.com - which provides on-line flight, car and hotel booking facilities, and excellent travel guides for over 170 countries or regions. By providing integration of its virtual travel agency service, Leisureplanet also licenses its content and technology to selected Internet sites. To date, Leisureplanet’s expanding group of high-profile distribution sites include infospace.com (USA), itravel.com.au (Australia), virtualoutlet.com (USA), thetrip.com (USA), resfeber.com (Sweden), rejsefeber.dk (Denmark), reisefeber.com (Norway), lycosuk.co.uk (UK), planetoasis.com (USA), mweb.co.za (South Africa) and lycos.de (Germany). This pool of Internet distribution positions Leisureplanet as the premier global Internet distribution partner for hotels.


Rembrandt Group, Ltd., which will continue to hold approximately 19 percent of Leisureplanet, is a multinational company with a market value of more than US$4 billion.


First South Africa Corp. Ltd. is a publicly traded investment company that acquires, owns and operates m@dlmaetgmni pmalyas iSoh ri. e mpy’hoin ilu binwei.arusndtrs,ncdh vuedd cveen fdsndekreroct

hekmnyayeesldhdeapov aitupmi!auamging tk change its name to reflect the change in`its investment focus. The company’s South African investments wiml be focused on its stak an Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Birst Lifestyle Holdings, tHe value of which will be reatily available through the market price of its shares.


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