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ForestExpress Signs EDI Contract with International Paper

Press release from the issuing company

ForestExpress Sharpens Business Focus for 2003 ATLANTA--July 22, 2002-- ForestExpress, the transaction processing network for the forest products industry, today announced a business-to-business connectivity arrangement with International Paper, the world's largest paper and forest products company. This arrangement continues to demonstrate that the company's equity partners remain firmly committed to driving the benefits of e-commerce in the forest products industry by leveraging the ForestExpress network. In order to provide flexibility in meeting a wide range of trading partner technology needs, IP will begin to transition its EDI traffic from its current VANs to a B2B infrastructure designed by ForestExpress. This transition will enable the company to take advantage of a variety of connectivity options that ForestExpress has available, including EDI transactions through its strategic partnership with Sterling Commerce. IP expects that it will begin to take advantage of this opportunity with more than 300 of its trading partners over the next several months. J. Chris Scalet, Senior Vice President and CIO for International Paper, expects the ForestExpress arrangement will streamline processes and costs for the company's B2B connectivity. Scalet stated, "In addition to cost effectively delivering on our current needs, ForestExpress will provide us with a state-of-the-art platform to begin migrating to B2B integration technologies that will ultimately provide lower overall costs, real-time availability of supply chain information, and enhanced trading partner relationships." According to Bob Renner, CEO of ForestExpress, "We are beginning to see real traction as we enable a range of companies to connect to their trading partners, regardless of size or technical sophistication, over the ForestExpress network. Companies connected to the network are able to take advantage of a variety of ForestExpress-offered connectivity solutions, allowing them to leverage their current technology investments and build on their e-business strategies." ForestExpress also announced that it has more than doubled the number of XML messages (currently 18) it now has available to transact over its network and will double that number again by year-end. Trading partners have access to a message library that includes such high-volume messages as purchase order, purchase order acknowledgement, invoice, order status and availability check, along with forest products industry-specific messages such as papiNet standard messages and scale-house ticket. "We continue to be pleased with the progress of ForestExpress in building messages and a solid, scalable e-commerce infrastructure to connect the industry," said Mack Hogans, Senior Vice President, Weyerhaeuser Company, and ForestExpressboard member. As part of the company's longer term strategy, the ForestExpress board of directors has approved the business plan for 2003 which focuses ForestExpress services on B2B integration and catalog content opportunities for paper, building materials and recycling companies, along with continued expansion of opportunities for the timber marketplace. "Our board has approved a plan with a sharpened focus on delivering services where there has been proven customer interest and traction," stated Renner. "We will continue to adjust our resources accordingly in order to achieve results and drive e-commerce adoption in the industry." Commenting on the company's direction, Chuck Williams, Vice President and CIO, Georgia-Pacific, and ForestExpress board member added, "G-P remains supportive of the actions taken by ForestExpress. We endorse what the company is doing to drive e-commerce for the forest products industry and continue to look for opportunities to leverage the ForestExpress network."