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Studio Moderna Partners With Global Growth Investor General Atlantic

Stocks in this article: BEN

NEW YORK, May 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Studio Moderna Holdings B.V., ("Studio Moderna", the "Company") a leading multi-channel e-commerce and direct to consumer platform in the fast growing markets of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), Russia and Turkey, today announced that General Atlantic LLC ("GA"), one of the leading global growth equity firms, has acquired a minority stake in the Company. Existing investors Insight Venture Partners ("Insight"), Templeton Strategic Emerging Markets Fund III ("Templeton") and JH Partners ("JHP") also participated in the transaction and made further investments into the Company.

Studio Moderna is a fast-growing, multi-channel e-commerce and direct to consumer platform reaching more than 400 million consumers in 21 countries. It generated over EUR 300 million in revenues in 2010 and continued strong growth is expected. The Company markets and sells a diverse range of high quality consumer products including home, fitness, health and fashion offerings and has proprietary technology, payments, logistics and customer service operations which allow consumers to transact through the platform across its 21 markets. In addition to marketing third party products under the Top Shop brand, Studio Moderna also develops and sells its own proprietary products under well-known brands including Dormeo, Delimano, Wellneo and Kosmodisk. Studio Moderna markets and sells these brands through its e-commerce platform, which includes over 120 websites, 190 dedicated retail stores, over 4,000 sales locations with major wholesale partners across the region and its own telephone-sales centres. The Company also operates Top Shop TV home shopping channels in Russia, Ukraine, Romania and Serbia and has recently launched Stilago, a members-only online fashion club offering deep discounts on branded apparel in six countries including Poland, Russia and the Czech Republic. Studio Moderna's platform is a key partner and gateway for brands aiming to sell their products in its fast-growing markets.

A key component of Studio Moderna's success is the Company's ability to localise products and marketing to the specific needs of each country and local market. "As we build out our scalable, data- and technology-driven platform across multiple product segments, markets and channels, we are delighted to welcome GA as investors in Studio Moderna.  Their deep experience in global e-commerce businesses will support the Company as it continues its rapid international growth and development from being the region's leading multi-channel platform into the region's leading e-commerce retailer," said Sandi Cesko, Studio Moderna's Chairman.

"GA's strategy is to back and actively work with great entrepreneurs in international growth businesses and we are thrilled to be in partnership with Studio Moderna," said John Bernstein, Managing Director with GA.  "We have been highly impressed by Studio Moderna's platform and extraordinary ability to identify and market the right products to the large and rapidly growing consumer markets in Central and Eastern Europe. Studio Moderna has built a robust infrastructure in terms of marketing, payments, customer service, logistics, IT systems and a management team that will support continued rapid growth," added Gabriel Caillaux, Managing Director, who co-led the investment for General Atlantic.

John Bernstein and Gabriel Caillaux (GA) will join returning outside investors Larry Handen (Insight) and Matjaz Schroll (Templeton) on the Board of Directors. "Studio Moderna has surpassed the expectations we had at the time of our initial investment and along with Templeton and JHP, we are delighted to be able to continue our support for the Company with GA as new partners," said Larry Handen, Managing Director of Insight Venture Partners. Templeton, through the Templeton Emerging Markets Group, decided to commit further funding to Studio Moderna as they believe the Company's multi-channel e-commerce and direct to consumer platform will continue to benefit from its unique position in Central and Eastern Europe.

GA invests annually in the $2 billion range, with an average investment size of just over $200 million in 2010. Active in six sectors globally, GA's recent Internet & Technology investments include Kaspersky Lab and Privalia in Europe; Alibaba, SouFun and Renren in China; and Gilt Groupe in the US. Prior investments include notable companies such as Etrade, Priceline, Lenovo and NYSE Euronext.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, CMS Cameron McKenna LLP, Loyens & Loeff N.V and O'Melveny & Myers LLP served as legal advisors to the investors. White & Case LLP acted as legal advisor to the Company. Arkas advised Studio Moderna and Credit Suisse advised General Atlantic on the transaction.

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