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OPEN Business Club AG acquires Neurona, the Spanish market leader for online business networking

06-22-2007 02:10 PM CET | IT, New Media & Software

Press release from: OPEN Business Club AG (XING)

OPEN Business Club AG takes over largest contact network in Spain and Latin America with over 835,000 members
• Clear market leadership in Spain – strategically important market share secured over international competitors

Hamburg, June 22, 2007 – OPEN Business Club AG (International Securities Identification Number: DE000XNG8888), operator of XING – one of the foremost networks for business professionals – has acquired a 100% interest in Neurona (, the largest contact online business network in Spain and Latin America. The takeover of Neurona enables XING to position itself as the clear market leader in the field of online networking for business professionals in the Spanish-speaking world.

Until the takeover, Neurona was operated by the Spanish company “Grupo Intercom Factory, S.L.” which is involved in projects in the fields of technology and online business in Spain and holds numerous active participations in other Internet firms. The purchase of Neurona coupled with the takeover of eConozco in March 2007 means that the Spanish market is now the second key market – besides the German-speaking world – where OPEN Business Club AG has secured clear market leadership over its global competitors. All parties involved in the acquisition have agreed not to disclose terms of payment.

“With over 420 million native speakers and more than 90 million Web users, the Spanish-speaking market is one of the world’s fastest growing online markets. The company “Grupo Intercom Factory, S.L.” has a reputation for developing the most successful online portals in this market, and we’re excited to have such a capable partner on board, whose track record in the Spanish market will be of great value in the future,” said Lars Hinrichs, Founder and CEO of OPEN Business Club AG.

Quote from Antonio González (Grupo Intercom Factory, S.L.)

The takeover will expand XING’s already strong presence in the financial centers Madrid and Barcelona to include Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Lima and Bogotá.

Members currently use Neurona free-of-charge. With integration into the XING Web site, OPEN Business Club AG nevertheless expects existing Neurona members to become increasingly willing to pay for the comprehensive functionalities of XING Premium Membership. Neurona members will benefit from the active international XING community, as well as from the well-engineered XING technology and the company’s focus on business professionals worldwide. After completion of the integration, all Neurona members will have access to more comprehensive functionalities of the XING platform.

The actual integration on to the XING platform is scheduled to begin at the end of 2007: The user interface and the design will be gradually migrated to reflect the look and functionality of the XING platform. This progression towards the new, combined network is largely a matter of simplification and are expected to be completed within a twelve-month period. Ferran Aznar, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Neurona, will manage Neurona operations as a subsidiary company of OPEN Business Club AG in the interim working with a team of eleven employees, and assume responsibility for Neurona’s role in the integration.

Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements

This press release notice contains forward-looking statements concerning the operations, business development, membership growth and financial results of OPEN Business Club AG and/or the industry in which the Company operates. These forward-looking statements are generally indicated by terms such as “estimate”, “anticipate”, “expect”, “assume”, “intend”, “predict”, “plan”, “strive”, “should”, “could”, “would”, “will” and similar phrasing. Forward-looking statements contained in this press release, including assumptions, estimates and opinions by the Company or information provided by third parties, are based on the current plans, estimates, assumptions and forecasts, and may entail uncertainties and risks. A variety of different factors could lead to actual results, trends and conditions that differ significantly from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. The Company does not assume any liability for this eventuality and cannot guarantee that the information upon which the forward-looking statements are based is correct and complete, nor is the Company, its subsidiaries and affiliated companies liable for the future correctness of the statements outlined in this press release. Information and statistics from external sources should not be interpreted as information and statistics that have been verified by the Company. The Company, its subsidiaries and affiliated companies are not obliged to update any forward-looking statements.

About XING:
XING makes your professional network an active part of your life. Far more than a directory of business contacts, XING enables its members to discover professional people, opportunities and privileges through its unique discovery capability and advanced contact management tools.

With the successful IPO of XING in December 2006 as the first Web 2.0 company to go public, OPEN Business Club AG has had a long-term impact on the social networking trend amongst professionals. By focusing on the target group 'business people worldwide', the company is able to offer tailored features, thereby making networking and contact management simpler. Besides Headquarters in Hamburg, XING AG is represented by offices in Barcelona (eConozco), Beijing and Zurich.

About Neurona: is a free virtual community created to promote networking among professionals and academics from the marketing and sales arena. Since 2003, Neurona has been offering professionals effective networking features for managing their network, enabling its members to make contacts, accelerate their business relationships and get in touch with people relevant to their work. With over 835,000 members in two continents, Neurona is the professional networking leader in Spain and Latin America.

Press Contact:
Daniela Hinrichs
VP Corporate Communications
Gaensemarkt 43
20354 Hamburg
Phone +49 40 419131-19
Fax +49 40 419131-11

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