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Merrill Takes Due Diligence Virtual with Merrill DataSite

Press release from the issuing company

DALLAS--July 23, 2003-- Merrill Corporation, one of the world's largest financial printers, today announced the official launch of its revolutionary Web-based document management tool, Merrill DataSite, which significantly enhances the flexibility and limits the time necessary to complete a due diligence review process. Merrill DataSite, the only complete online virtual deal room solution, eliminates the requirement to construct and manage a paper data room. "As the leader in financial document management for over 30 years, we have always provided the most innovative solutions for our clients," said Phil Hartung, vice president of sales for Merrill Corporation Dallas. "Merrill DataSite is one of the most innovative products to be introduced to our industry in this decade. Financial transactions are now more time efficient as well as convenient, making the slow, cumbersome process history. This has definitely changed the way deals are done and will make paper data rooms a thing of the past." With Merrill DataSite, a traditional paper data room is rendered in an electronic format, in either a Web-based repository or on a CD-ROM. Documents can be captured on-site or shipped to a Merrill facility for processing. Then, each relevant document is OCR (optical character recognition) scanned, indexed and placed into an electronic folder based on a data room index. Access to the Merrill DataSite deal room documents is accomplished simultaneously by multiple users via secure, SSL encrypted Internet connections from any Web browser, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. The traditional process of major financial transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, bankruptcies and a host of others typically involves many weeks and sometimes months of due diligence, requires all corporations, legal council, accountants and printers to travel to a central location and often entails a paper trail large enough to occupy a warehouse, all resulting in significant loss of corporate resources, primarily time and money. Primary benefits of the offering are: Access Unlimited use for multiple individuals worldwide at any time of the day or night Security Password protection with secure ID capability and 128-bit encryption Control Client dictates who sees what information and for how long Audit Trail Tracking Reports what documents have been accessed, by whom and length of review Search Capability OCR scanning that allows complete full text searches of each DataSite document, with Boolean searches also available Simplicity Highly intuitive interface -- no training needed Service Worldwide network available for on-site scanning; 24/7 customer service with resources on hand to handle projects of any size Easier Negotiations Multiple buyers are able to access information anywhere, anytime, in record time Online Management, Delivery and Collaboration with Merrill DataSite Merrill DataSite's workplace provides a secure, efficient way to collaborate online throughout the document development process prior to opening DataSite to outside participants. Documents may be uploaded and shared with designated participants from first draft to final revision in the private, virtual workspace. Merrill DataSite allows for customized access to documents for each team member, provides team email and communication methods, and logs every phase and discussion for the duration of the project. Merrill DataSite: The Most Technologically Advanced Search Capabilities Merrill DataSite's Fault Tolerant Fuzzy Logic search tool always produces results containing the search term, whether searching all documents in one repository or simultaneously searching multiple repositories. In addition, the solution's concept-based search functionality recognizes concepts behind words and finds documents that are relevant, but may not contain the actual search item. The program allows for searching of synonyms, antonyms, related words, contrasted words, exact and variants, inflected forms and neighbor words. Using this concept-based search method can increase the probability of finding relevant items and can help reduce the risk of overlooking important passages. Unique Data Formats, All in One Place Not only can Merrill DataSite handle any type of written material, video and audio clips can now be uploaded to the site. Clips from speeches, board meetings and press conferences can now easily be seen and heard through this secure system, making Merrill DataSite the only tool necessary for complete due diligence.