Private Equity Week Wire for Tuesday 2/20

NEW YORK — Merrill Lynch today
announced that David Williams has returned to the firm’s technology investment banking
franchise as director of its Global Venture Banking Group and head of the group’s Asian
venture banking activities.

Based in Palo Alto, Calif., Mr. Williams joins Jack Weingart, managing director and head of
venture banking, a newly formed group that spearheads Merrill Lynch’s growing
commitment to the venture capital sector. The group is responsible for providing
investment-banking services to top-tier venture capital firms and their portfolio companies.

Mr. Williams joins Merrill Lynch from Draper Fisher Jurvetson where he was partner, Asia
Pacific, with the firm’s global ePlanet fund.

CARY, NC — Tangram Enterprise Solutions Inc., a leader in the asset management market, and Safeguard Scientifics, Inc., Tangram’s majority shareholder, today jointly
announced an intended agreement to convert $3 million of debt into convertible preferred
equity. Under terms of the agreement and when declared by the Board, Safeguard will be
entitled to a cumulative two percent quarterly dividend. The shares of preferred stock may
be converted at any time into 1.5 million shares of Tangram common stock.

NEW YORK — Metiom, Inc. a leader in global
business-to-business e-commerce, announced today that Paul Lancelot Banner and
Thomas D. Bell, Jr. have been elected to the company’s board of directors. Both new
members begin service immediately. Paul Lancelot Banner MA, FIA is co-founder of SCI Private Equity, a venture capital
management company that principally advises on investments in private technology
companies. Current funds under management total US$100 million.

Prior to founding SCI, Mr. Banner was based in Hong Kong where he created Abel Venture
Managers with his current partner, Philip Corbishley. Mr. Banner also set up and managed
his own Hong Kong based corporate finance advisory company, Cambridge Financial
Services Limited that provided corporate finance advice to companies in the Far East. Prior to joining Forstmann Little & Co. as a Special Limited Partner, Thomas Bell’s
experience spanned the range of the business spectrum. He served as Chairman and
CEO of Young & Rubicam, Inc., a global leader in diversified marketing communications.

MONTREAL — Newtrade Technologies Inc., an e-commerce Application
Service Provider (ASP), offering companies strategic online solutions to enhance the
management and distribution of their products or services announced today that it has
completed its first $3 M financing with Investissement Desjardins and Innovatech Grand
Montreal. The investment will help develop vertical markets within the online hospitality
industry and the marketing of TravelSpaces Network(TM) in Canada. TravelSpaces
Network(TM) is the first fully integrated transactional network, offering centralized
management and distribution solutions to the booking needs of hotels in real time, from a
unique office.

CHICAGO — The Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF), a $150 million
dollar early-stage private equity fund that invests in small- and medium-sized enterprises in
Ukraine and Moldova, announced today that it is relocating its headquarters to the Chicago area
from New York City.

The Western NIS Enterprise Fund, capitalized initially by the US Government, was created
to invest in small and medium sized private companies in Ukraine and Moldova. Since
1995, the Fund has committed $80.5 million to twenty portfolio companies in Ukraine and
five in Moldova, which employ close to 11,000 local workers. Both countries were part of the
Soviet Union until proclaiming their independence in late 1991.

BOSTON — WebMap Technologies Inc., an innovator in the
development of visual Web navigation software, today announced a $6 million infusion of
equity capital from five investors, including an affiliate of Deutsche Bank. Other investors include Technorov, Investor International of New York, Nechesa
Mishpachat Fishman Nihul Ltd. and TLD Holdings. This is the second investment by
Israel-based Nechesa Mishpachat Fishman Nihul Ltd. and TLD Holdings.

BOSTON — TechOnLine Inc., the
premier provider of e-learning solutions and educational resources to the electronics
community, today announced that it has received an investment of $7.5 million in new
venture capital, including a $4.5 million investment from SCP Private Equity Partners L.P.
(SCP), and $3 million from other private and institutional investors.

This investment comes on the heels of the company’s recent announcement to expand its
core business to focus on the development of its e-learning solutions for the electronics
industry. The funds raised in this round of financing will be used for new product
development and enhancements of TechOnLine’s e-learning products and services
designed to meet the on-line training needs of electronics companies. Additionally, the
funds will further support the development of TechOnLine’s community-based Web site that
provides a wealth of educational resources and industry information to electronics

BIETIGHEIM, GERMANY — Armstrong DLW AG, a subsidiary of
U.S.-based Armstrong Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ACK) said today that it had entered into talks
with CVC Capital Partners on the possible sale of the European components of its Textiles
and Sports Flooring division, which operates under the brand name Desso. The talks are
expected to last several months.

Desso, with approximately 1,300 employees, manufactures commercial carpet and
artificial sports flooring in The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. Based in Oss, The
Netherlands, the division had annual sales of approximately $313 million in 1999.

GREENWICH, CT — Heartland Industrial Partners L.P.
announced today that it submitted a proposal with the Close family to take Springs
Industries, Inc. (NYSE: SMI) private in a recapitalization transaction in which public
stockholders would receive $44 per share in cash and the Close family would retain
substantially all of its shares of common stock. The Close family owns shares of Class B
common stock representing approximately 41% of the Springs’ common stock and 73% of
the normal voting power. If the transaction is completed, the Close family would own
approximately 55% and Heartland would own approximately 45% of Springs. The
transaction would be financed through $225 million of equity from Heartland and
borrowings under a senior credit facility for which J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has provided
financing commitments.

NEW YORK — Financial Performance Corp.
today announced that an investor group has made a $3 million equity investment for a
minority position in Inc., the Washington D.C. subsidiary of FPCX that
provides Internet-based electronic database information services to a broad customer
base of blue-chip corporations and government organizations.

The investor group is comprised of BG Media Intermediate Fund L.P. of New York, whose
principal, William Grimes, is a board member of FPCX, and the private equity arm of the
Blackburn Group of Canada, of which William Goldstein is a principal.

SARATOGA, CA — KickFire, a leading provider of
Web-based marketing software, today announced that it has completed its third
round of financing, bringing the total raised to date to $16 million. 3i, a
leading international venture capital firm, led the round.

The funding will enable KickFire to achieve its plan for profitability by Q4 2001.
At the same time, the company announced new contracts with Sun Microsystems and the global advertising agency J. Walter Thompson, and the release of the third generation of its enterprise marketing software solution.

LOS ANGELES — US Inc. (Nasdaq:SRCH), a trusted, reliable source of Internet-based information and risk management services today announced that it has agreed to terms for the second $10 million phase of its $20 million private financing agreement previously signed with Pequot Private Equity, the venture capital arm of Pequot Capital Management, Inc.
The financing will enable US SEARCH to continue to make investments in scalable and proprietary technology and better position the Company for further growth within its corporate and trust services business.
Under the terms of the new agreement, Pequot will purchase $5 million of additional preferred stock this month, subject to receipt of required consents, and an additional $5 million before May 15, 2001, if the Company continues to meet profitability goals in the consumer division and meets certain other conditions. Under the original agreement dated September 7, 2000, US SEARCH had up to one year to achieve these profitability goals in order to receive additional funding from Pequot.

MENLO PARK, CA — Diamondhead Ventures LLP (DhVen) today announced the addition of a new Venture Partner, J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D, a leading analyst in the mobile and wireless industries.
Dr. Purdy, who has been a member of the DhVen Advisory Board for the past year, will assume increased responsibilities in the selection of mobile and wireless investments. Dr. Purdy continues as President & CEO of Mobile Insights, the world’s leading authority on mobile computing and wireless data communications.