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August 8, 2000

In this week's report. . .

  • MAXX looking to acquire ITEX
  • Amazon Commerce Network a big trader
  • BarterNet on the move
  • Industry assoications planning upcoming conventions
  • Here and there. . .

ITEX To Be Acquired By MAXX International

ITEX Management Team Will Play Important Role, MAXX Headquarters Will Relocate to Sacramento

Los Angeles-based MAXX International has entered into a memorandum of understanding under which they will acquire the assets of the ITEX Corporation (a retail barter exchange) for 16 million shares of MAXX International common stock. (The transaction is valued at $16 million.)

MAXX (OTCBB: MXII) is a global rights management company. Assets include the distribution rights to the prayer books of Pope John Paul II and Vatican licensing agreements. It is also the parent of PureVision Internet, developer of the web site www.thegospel.com.

Reportedly, the ITEX management team will remain the same, although their responsibilities will be broadened to include the management of MAXX. Collie Christensen will become president and CEO of MAXX, and Spike Humer will become the COO.

Michael Solomon will continue as Chairman of the Board, plus continue to oversee development of new products and services for the company. He was the founder of Telepictures which merged into Lorimar, becoming the largest television production company in the world.

Formerly the President of Warner Bros. TV from 1989 to 1994, Solomon was responsible for making it the largest television program distribution company in the world. He serves on the Board of Directors of the International Council of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and New York University's Stern School of Business.

Amazon.com's Commerce Network A Big Trader . . . Web Pioneer Does $20 Million With It's Key Unit!

One of Amazon's key business units, Amazon Commerce Network, did over $20 million in barter during the second quarter. And that unit accounted for most of the growth in second-quarter gross profit margins. (An additional $4.2 million was cash business for the unit.)

Most of the barter revenue comes in the form of stock that Amazon.com receives as payment from the Amazon Commerce Network (which represents other online retailers such as Drugstore.com and Pets.com), in exchange for co-branded selling space on Amazon.com's web site.

BarterNet Keeps On Growing. . .

BarterNet Corporation, the marketplace for the new economy, today announced the addition of four Midwest trade exchanges to its expanding network: the Illinois Trade Association of Niles [Chicago]; National Commercial Exchange of St. Louis; Metro Trading Association of Troy (MI); and Tradecorp of Columbus. These exchanges, with over 10,000 combined clients, increase the reach of the BarterNet network to over 15,000 businesses.

Barter veterans Jack Schacht and Joan Varner co-founded the Illinois Trade Association (www.itatrade.com) in 1983, and have built the business to become the largest independent retail barter company in the country with 5,800 clients.

BarterNet co-founder, chairman and CEO Laird Cagan said, "These exchanges represent the best of barter in the Midwest and have been serving their customers for decades. We are bringing unparalleled opportunity to the table, allowing each exchange's membership access to a wider variety of barter opportunities, including in the future international trades." As part of these agreements, the four exchanges plan to merge with BarterNet at a later date.

Schacht said the affiliation agreement with BarterNet is in the best interests of his exchange members. "We wanted to align with someone with a compatible business philosophy that includes heavy doses of customer service,"Schacht said. "Our clients' trades range up to a million dollars or more, and they have come to expect creative and personalized service...BarterNet shares this same commitment."

National Commercial Exchange (ncebarter.com) was founded in 1979. Based in the St. Louis suburb of Maryland Heights, NCE has over 1,100members. The volume of barter transactions generated by NCE last year amounted to over $4 million. NCE is a member of the Maryland Heights Chamber of Commerce and a member of the National Association of Trade Exchanges (NATE).

Ohio-based Tradecorp (www.tradecorp.org) founded in 1976, is one of the largest trade exchanges in the Midwest with offices in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus. There are over 1700 business locations where merchant members can use their local Tradecorp barter currency.

The volume of barter transactions generated by Tradecorp last year amounted to over $8 million. Tradecorp is a member of the International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA) and NATE, as well as the Cincinnati and Columbus Chambers of Commerce.

Metro Trading Association (www.metrotrading.com) was founded in 1978 by stockbroker-turned-entrepreneur Michael Mercier in order to give area businesses the opportunity to lower costs, increase cash profits, and attain new clients through the bartering system. Metro Trading has over 1,500 businesses throughout Southeastern Michigan, Toledo, and Windsor, Ontario.

Coming Events: IRTA & NATE

The International Reciprocal Trade Association's (IRTA) 21st International Barter Congress, "Mining for Gold," will be held in another month September 14-17 in Phoenix, Arizona. For more details e-mail: sheila@irta.com, or call (312) 461-0236.

And scheduled a week later, down in Atlanta is the National Association of Trade Exchanges (NATE) regional conference, September 22-23. For details on this training session contact The Barter Company in Atlanta, by e-mailing tammy@barterco.com, or faxing (770) 591-3602.


Here And There. . .

  • Venture-capital firms still "love" the Internet, if the money invested in the 'Net is any indication. In the first half of this year, VC's have invested over $30 billion, far more than the $28 billion in the sector for all of last year.

  • Media financier Herbert Allen Jr., the prime financial backer of Global Education Network (GEN), has quietly been working to bring Ivy League universities and other top universities together in a consortium to provide online education to millions of Americans.

    Programmers and film crews are already busy assembling a slate of "beta" courses, creating computer graphics and taping lectures on several campuses. They plan to begin rolling out a test version of the GEN service by the end of the year.

    To entice cooperation, Allen's been working out barter arrangements wherein the colleges will be trading their cooperation and involvement in exchange for becoming a stockholder in GEN.

  • SalvageSale.com offers one the chance to bid on abandoned industrial equipment and material damaged in rail-car derailments. Founder Charlie Wilson, a longtime dealer in salvaged merchandise, aims to consolidate the fragmented $50 billion business of buying and selling deeply discounted stuff.

    SalvageSale typically gets a 10% commission on what's moved. The company gets most of its listings from insurers like Lloyd's of London which have paid off claims and hope to quickly recover whatever they can. Sellers aren't identified. Most goods are sold "as is, where is."


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