USA: VOLCAFE to Take Equity Stake in InterCommercial

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InterCommercial Markets Corp., an Internet-based provider of trading, information and communications services to the global physical commodities industry, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with VOLCAFE Ltd., one of the world's leading coffee merchants, under which VOLCAFE will acquire a substantial equity stake in InterCommercial as lead investor in the company's current round of financing.

"Our decision to invest in InterCommercial Markets is based on our belief that the coffee industry will increasingly use the Internet for trading, procurement and after-sale service," said Paul Moeller, head of VOLCAFE's trading group, "and that InterCommercial's platform is the best we've seen for transacting in physical commodities. By taking a significant stake in the company we hope to be at the forefront of the technological changes that will sweep the industry, and allow VOLCAFE to better anticipate and meet the needs of our customers worldwide."

"We are extremely pleased to have one of the world's largest and most respected coffee dealers choose to invest in our company and adopt our technology," said Ted Heilman, President and CEO of InterCommercial. "We see VOLCAFE's participation as an endorsement of our trading and information platform as well as of our business model," added Heilman. "With their help we hope to realize our vision of creating a neutral physical exchange and after-sale service platform that brings the power of the Internet to the soft commodity markets and becomes an integral part of the industry's electronic supply chain."

VOLCAFE Ltd., a member of The Erb Group, is based in Winterthur, Switzerland. A leading international coffee dealer, VOLCAFE currently has 21 operating companies in 18 countries. These include export operations in Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Kenya, and Papua New Guinea among others. The roots of VOLCAFE date back to 1851 when two brothers founded Volkart Brothers to engage in trade between Europe and the Indian subcontinent. The Erb Group, also based in Winterthur, comprises 85 companies, with over 4000 employees, and annual sales in excess of Swiss Francs 4 billion. In addition to commodity trading, the group's activities include automobile import/distribution, and banking/financial services.

InterCommercial Markets Corp. is a privately held, independent on-line exchange and application service provider for the global commodities industry. The company has developed a transaction-enabling platform for the green coffee, cocoa, and sugar industries. Its proprietary web-based software streamlines and automates the current trading methods of physical commodity professionals and provides a common industry platform from which to conduct business more efficiently. The company's management team has significant experience in both the international commodities trade and in systems development and founded InterCommercial in 1999.

Other investors in InterCommercial include Mercon Coffee Corporation and E.D. & F. Man Holdings, Ltd., two leading multinational physical commodity-trading groups and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., one of the world's leading commodity banks. InterCommercial recently entered into a memorandum of understanding to develop a joint venture with the New York Board of Trade, a leading commodity futures and options exchange and parent company of the Coffee, Sugar, & Cocoa Exchange, Inc. and the New York Cotton Exchange.

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