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DIFC To Acquire Smartstream Technolgies

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

13 November 2007

DIFC Investments, the investment arm of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), and TA Associates, a leading growth private equity and buyout firm, have announced that DIFC Investments has agreed to acquire SmartStream Technologies (SmartStream), the UK based software licensing and professional services business.

DIFC Investments will acquire SmartStream, SmartStream management, and employees from TA Associates in an all cash deal, which values the company at approximately GBP200 million (US$413.7 million).

Commenting on the deal, Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Chairman of DIFC Investments, stated: "This acquisition enhances the DIFC's role in the global financial services industry and further establishes the DIFC as a global gateway for international financial business."

DIFC Investments aims to create a new generation of hosted information and trade processing services, and its intention is that SmartStream will be at the heart of the secure, scaleable trade processing and data management platform it is building.

Bisher Barazi, Managing Director of DIFC Investments, commented on the deal: "We are pleased to acquire SmartStream, a recognized global leader in the development of transaction lifecycle management software used in the back and middle office of many of the world's leading banks, asset managers, hedge funds and money managers. It has excellent products, a committed management team and exciting plans for future development in what is the world's largest IT market, financial services technology."

Ajit Nedungadi, Managing Director of TA Associates added: "We are delighted to reach this agreement with DIFC Investments. This has proven to be a very successful relationship for SmartStream and TA Associates, and we thank the management team for their hard work and support during this period. The DIFC is an exciting strategic platform that will support continued growth and investment in SmartStream."

According to the DIFC, the transaction is expected to close in approximately one month. DIFC was advised on the transaction by Deutsche Bank AG, while Close Brothers advised SmartStream and TA Associates.

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