February 09, 2005

Beverly Hills, CA.-February 9, 2005 – OpenGate Capital (OGC), a private buyout firm in Los Angeles County, today announced a definitive agreement for OGC to acquire Essentis Limited (a former division of Schlumberger), an innovative software platform for payment card issuing and merchant acquiring operations.

Under the agreement, OpenGate Capital will acquire substantially all of the assets of Essentis Ltd, which includes the Company’s service and maintenance activities. Compliant with the Visa International, MasterCard and JCB networks, Essentis spans the full range of product offerings: Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Chip Cards, Multi-Application Cards, Charge Cards, Loyalty Cards, Business Cards, Duality Cards, Private Label Cards, Affinity Cards, Co-Branded Cards, and Purchasing Cards. Essentis has established a wide range of implementation and support skills including project management, consultancy, customization, conversion, and systems integration. Initial customers in Europe include ABN AMRO, PKO in Poland, and UBS in Switzerland. The Company also customers via their partnership with Atos Origin in Italy, Sweden and Asia including Bank of China and Bank of Communications in China.

Managing Partner of OpenGate Capital, Andrew Nikou, stated “The acquisition has an excellent reputation and will serve as an excellent entrée into the payment marketplace. We believe that the company will continue to grow as it further leverages its brand, customer service capabilities, and technology to serve the needs of merchants, transaction processors, and financial institutions.”

OpenGate Capital is a private buyout firm focused on principal investing in high-growth/change-intensive businesses, as well as underperforming and turnaround situations. The firm combines the operational expertise and detailed due diligence capabilities of a strategic buyer with the seasoned M&A team of a traditional financial buyer. The principals of OpenGate Capital have a long and successful history of investing with management partners across a wide range of industries and transaction types, including leverage buyouts, recapitalizations, corporate divestitures and spin-offs, build-ups and venture stage investing.