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Universal Express - USXP - Reaches Agreement to Purchase TraveLite / VirtualBellhop, Inc.

Business Editors

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 10, 2001

Universal Express, Inc. (OTC BB:USXP) today announced definitive agreement to acquire TraveLite/Virtual Bellhop(R) Inc., (www.VirtualBellhop.com) the leading brand and provider of luggage transportation services catering to business and leisure travelers.

Terms of the agreement include cash and stock valued at $1.4mm and includes web sites and all domain names.

"As we continue to build USXP into a global competitor, we are confident this strategic acquisition solidifies our leadership position in the burgeoning luggage logistics niche. VirtualBellhop is a synergistic fit with our other divisions - Luggage Express(TM) and WorldPost(TM) and brings a number of key relationships with America's leading shipping companies and major travel service and travel distribution partners," said Richard A. Altomare, President and CEO of USXP. "By leveraging VirtualBellhop's proprietary technology and relationships with major channel partners including GDS companies, online travel sites, airlines, cruise lines, travel agents and resorts together with our private postal network (PBC) of over eight thousand postal services locations, we are able to provide our associates with a new revenue source while achieving significant market penetration for this service," continued Mr. Altomare.

"Initially we are planning that the Luggage Express service will be marketed to the customers of the postal industry. Virtual Bellhop will be electronically connected to the professional travel industry and TraveLite is targeted for large commercial accounts," concluded Mr. Altomare.

"In consideration of current events and evolving conditions at America's airports - increasing security measures, carry-on and curb side check-in restrictions, we anticipate accelerated demand for our services and feel confident that aligning ourselves with USXP is a key strategic move that provides VirtualBellhop with critical resources needed to meet this growing demand - domestically and internationally," said William Cippola, CEO, founder and President of TraveLite/VirtualBellhop, Inc.

"A major ingredient of Mr. Altomare's strategic formula is the merging of alliances that have been forged between USXP and the nation's largest domestic carriers. Having these strategic and discounted alliances in place, it is now possible to move these suitcases anywhere in the U.S. in the same time sensitive and secure manner, but at prices that reflect significant discounts," said Manny Bernardo, WorldPost(TM) Director.

"It is important that as our global economy continuously evolves, the manner in which companies use their vision and creativity to meet those needs defines their future. Once again, USXP takes the lead in providing visionary leadership and meeting these demands of today's airport traveler," said Mr. Bernardo. "Thinking outside of the box instead of only moving them has become USXP's corporate motto and today once again they seem to be doing that," concluded Mr. Bernardo.

Exact luggage figures are difficult to track, however, in 2000 the FAA estimated more than 1 billion bags were checked on domestic flights and the domestic travel industry alone is continuing to grow at a steady rate of 4% per year.

"VirtualBellhop customers range from middle to upper-management executives and road-warriors to seniors, the physically challenged and special needs clients." Mr. Cippola continued, "The Company also caters to recreational travelers, including families, golfers, skiers, and naturally, those first-class travelers who typically take advantage of premium services for convenience sake."

Universal (USXP) operates several other subsidiaries in logistics (Luggage Express(TM)) and International shipping (WorldPost(TM)). Its association of private postal stores (PBC) provides various support services and numerous other programs to its members.

Visit Universal Express and its subsidiaries on the web at http://www.usxp.com

VirtualBellhop was privately held, with offices in Chicago, IL and Scottsdale, AZ.

VirtualBellhop web site address is http://www.VirtualBellhop.com

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: The statements contained herein which are not historical are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, certain delays beyond the company's control with respect to market acceptance of new technologies or products, delays in testing and evaluation of products, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 10, 2001
Words:694
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