Pivotal Private Equity to Acquire World's Largest Domain Name Registrar, Network Solutions

PHOENIX--()--Oct. 16, 2003--Pivotal Private Equity announced today that it has signed an agreement to acquire control of Network Solutions, the world's largest domain name registrar, for $100 million. Herndon, Virginia-based Network Solutions provides a variety of Internet services, including domain name registration, e-mail services, Web-site hosting and creation tools, and other value-added services for its more than 4 million customers. Pivotal Private Equity will acquire the firm from VeriSign Inc., based in Mountain View, Calif., the leading provider of critical infrastructure services for Internet and telecommunications networks. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2003. VeriSign will retain a minority interest in Network Solutions and retain its registry business.

"The acquisition of Network Solutions fits well into our strategy of investing in companies that shape the future of the communications industry," said Jahm Najafi, chief executive officer of Pivotal Private Equity. "Market demand for the Web presence services Network Solutions provides, such as web sites, professional e-mail and domain names, is growing. The company is in a unique position to take the majority of this growth, given their large base of more than 4 million business and consumer customers."

The acquisition of Network Solutions complements Pivotal Private Equity's recent agreement to purchase the assets of Pacific Crossing Ltd. (PCL), the undersea fiber optic telecommunications network connecting Japan with the United States, Najafi said.

According to Najafi, Network Solutions will continue to provide superior service for its customers; develop innovative, value-added products; and build new channels of distribution to enhance market growth.

Network Solutions employs approximately 600 people and has offices in Herndon, Virginia, and Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

Phoenix-based Pivotal Private Equity is a provider of equity for middle market corporate acquisitions. The firm's focus is on companies in the telecommunications, Internet services, energy, manufacturing, consumer products and leisure industries. Recently, Pivotal Private Equity agreed to acquire the assets of PCL and its subsidiaries for $63 million. PCL, a former subsidiary of Global Crossing, operates the PC-1 fiber optic telecommunications network.

Pivotal Private Equity's senior management includes:

-- Jahm Najafi, CEO of Pivotal Private Equity. His previous experience with Salomon Brothers in New York and Los Angeles provides him with a diverse background involving institutional investments. He is fluent in the creation of alternative financing structures and the implementation of effective performance enhancement strategies. Mr. Najafi earned his Master's in Business and Economics from Harvard University after earning his B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

-- Peter A. Woog, a partner with Pivotal Private Equity. Mr. Woog was with AT&T for more than three decades, rising to vice president, and has served as CEO for closely held, as well as publicly traded, communications companies, including International FiberCom and Cable Systems Holding Company, a Citicorp Venture Capital portfolio company.

-- Keith W. Baum, CFA and vice president of Pivotal Private Equity, is responsible for analyzing and executing the firm's investment assets. Before moving to Arizona in 1998, Mr. Baum resided in Asia for 17 years. Fluent in Japanese, he was employed with Goldman Sachs, most recently as Director of Asia Research in their Hong Kong office.

The firm is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pivotal Group, a sophisticated investment company focused on high-quality real estate assets in premier markets. Major acquisitions by Pivotal Group include Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix; Century Plaza Hotel & Spa, Los Angeles; St. Regis Hotel, Los Angeles; and Red Mountain Spa, St. George, Utah.

For more information about Pivotal Group and Pivotal Private Equity, visit www.pivotalgroup.com.

Contacts

Denise Resnik & Associates
Denise D. Resnik or Nick Quan, 602-956-8834

Contacts

Denise Resnik & Associates
Denise D. Resnik or Nick Quan, 602-956-8834