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AxessPoint Acquires Starlight Networks From PictureTel
Distance learning company buys Starlight from PictureTel's 1414c subsidiary.

PictureTel (www.picturetel.com) announced it has sold its Starlight Network streaming business to distance learning company, AxessPoint (www.axesspoint.com).

Starlight Networks was one of the pioneers in streaming, focusing on the enterprise markets while RealNetworks dealt with the consumer/Internet side. In July 1998, PictureTel acquired Starlight but had trouble fully incorporating streaming into its overall videoconferencing offerings. Early this year, PictureTel created a new subsidiary called 1414c, which held onto Starlight until the acquisition.

AxessPoint will pay PictureTel $300,000 by April 2001 and up to $3,500,000, based on 50% of AxessPoint's net profit over the next 2 years. Considering PictureTel paid about $22 million for privately owned Starlight back in 1998, AxcessPoint may have gotten a bargain.

AxessPoint is a distance learning company with customers that include corporations, universities and government agencies. The company says that this acquisition will add "highly complementary" streaming capabilities to its offerings.

Under the terms of the agreement, 1414c will retain licensing rights to Starlight's core streaming technology. In addition, the two companies have signed a co-marketing agreement for Starlight's eVAS, a software streaming solution for creating and managing interactive webcasts.

"We see this acquisition as the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial relationship between AxessPoint and PictureTel,'' said Steve Shamrock, chairman and chief executive officer of AxessPoint. He said the companies' technologies and capabilities are highly complementary.

"Moving forward, PictureTel is focused in its core technologies," said Bob Byrnes, president, 1414c. "We are committed to partnering with industry leaders to ensure that we deliver best-in-class solutions."

PictureTel has been going through some changes. In September, a new management structure was put in place and the business was realigned into one single entity.

In trading on Monday, PictureTel was up over 7% and closed at 6 1/32.