Swets Blackwell Press Release Ewen Galbraith 24 Jan 2003 17:34 UTC

Swets Blackwell withdraws bid for divine/RoweCom

Lisse, the Netherlands - January 24, 2003 -- Swets Blackwell announced today
that it has withdrawn its bid for a potential acquisition of divine
Information Services' (dIS) global business. The decision was reached today
once it became clear to Swets Blackwell that its key conditions, including
the resolution of prepayments made by dIS customers and the ability to offer
these customers uninterrupted service, would not be met.

Swets Blackwell entered into acquisition negotiations with dIS in December
2002. Subsequent discussions were held between Swets Blackwell and major
publishers in an effort to find a solution amenable to all parties

Steven Hartman, Swets Blackwell's Commercial Director, stated: "Despite two
months of intense discussions and preliminary due diligence, dIS and other
stakeholders have not been able to make sufficient progress for us to ensure
a clear resolution for dIS customers."

He added: "Taking into account the considerable time required for regulatory
approval - both in the US and Europe - it is highly unlikely that a
satisfactory solution can be reached. We will now focus on actively finding
solutions for those customers who are suffering the ill effects of these
very unpleasant developments in our industry."

About Swets Blackwell
Swets Blackwell (www.swetsblackwell.com) is the world's largest subscription
agent, with offices in 22 countries on 6 continents. It provides a wide
variety of subscription management solutions for academic, scientific,
technical, medical, corporate and government libraries and information
centers worldwide. Founded in 1901, Swets Blackwell counts among its 60,000
customers many of the world's major research libraries and over 30% of the
Fortune 500 companies. In recognition of the superior service it provides,
Swets Blackwell was granted ISO 9001:2000 accreditation.

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