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Zethus Announces Major Agreement With Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.; Zethus' Patent-Pending Transaction Platform to Serve as Cushman & Wakefield's Online Commercial Real Estate Leasing Vehicle.

Business/Technology Editors

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 29, 2000

Zethus, Inc. (www.zethus.com), the innovative commercial real estate transaction platform backed by Goldman, Sachs & Co., announced today that it has reached agreement on the terms of a multi-year contract with major international brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield, Inc. to use Zethus' patent-pending web-based technology platform to conduct all of its commercial leasing transactions. Scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2001, Zethus will empower users by providing state-of-the-art technology and tools needed to complete transactions online.

"This contract is an important milestone for Zethus and for Cushman & Wakefield," explained James A. Hime, Zethus' Chief Executive Officer. "It represents an agreement with one of the acknowledged leaders in worldwide real estate as well as providing Zethus with a major revenue stream and Cushman & Wakefield with a robust technology platform that will streamline their business, support their professionals and increase profit margins. Zethus is an open platform available to all participants in the commercial real estate business --brokers, tenants, landlords, buyers and sellers alike. We are talking to other members of the brokerage community as well as landlords and tenants and will have additional announcements in the next few months."

"We are also fortunate to have the support of Goldman, Sachs in this venture," added Hime. "The technology, real estate, financial and legal resources they have provided have enabled Zethus to develop a truly industry changing business."

Zethus is being developed by an alliance of Inforte, leading e-commerce integrator, and systems and software giant, Sun Microsystems. Hime estimates that Zethus and its partners will invest $40-50 million prior to its commercial launch.

"We are excited to be involved in the creation of a new marketplace with such a stellar group of executives and with the backing of the premier technology investment bank in the world. Most importantly, for C&W, I see it as an enabler, an emancipator and as an opportunity for the best to be better," said Tom Falus, Cushman & Wakefield's President of New Ventures and e-Commerce Initiatives.

Steven Feldman, Managing Director in Goldman Sachs' Merchant Bank responsible for the firm's investment with Zethus, added, "We were fortunate to find a management team for Zethus that shares our vision of developing technology that would transform how transactions are executed in the commercial real estate industry. Just as important, they are committed to building an enduring business with a clear path to profitability."

"We believe the company has the right strategy and technology in place to increase efficiency and lower transaction costs in the commercial real estate market," said Feldman. "Over time, the Zethus system should enable tenants to reduce their occupancy costs and allow sellers to increase sale proceeds."

The Zethus senior management team includes: Hime, a 24-year veteran of the commercial real estate industry and a former finance executive with the international Hines real estate firm. Prior to joining Hines he was a Partner with the law firm of Baker & Botts, LLP where he practiced federal tax law; Thomas G. Bacon, a former Hines executive with 21 years of experience in finance and development, who serves as Zethus' President and Chief Operating Officer; and Jeffrey A. Scott, a former managing director and partner of the Real Estate Capital Markets Group for Arthur Andersen and Jones Lang LaSalle, who will head up Zethus' Sales Division.

Formed in November 1999, Zethus has offices in Houston, New York and Washington, D.C. with plans to establish additional offices in Chicago, Denver, Atlanta, Los Angeles and San Francisco within the next 12 months.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jun 29, 2000
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