GFI completes acquisition of SPL WorldGroup, merges it with Synergen

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SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 21, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- SPL WorldGroup Inc., a provider of mission-critical software solutions for the global utility market today announced that GFI Energy Ventures LLC completed its majority share acquisition of SPL as well as completion of the merger of Synergen Inc. with SPL. Under the SPL name, the merged creates a utility-specific suite of software solutions that includes customer care and billing, enterprise asset and work management, mobile workforce management, outage management, and distribution management.

Completion of this acquisition and merger represents delivery on a promise made by SPL less than a year ago. "SPL made a commitment to the utility marketplace to deliver a complete, single source and integrated suite of best-of-breed, utility-specific software solutions," said SPL CEO Harry Debes. "Our acquisition of CES's outage and distribution management assets was the first step in fulfilling this vision. The addition of Synergen's enterprise asset, work and mobile workforce management applications further delivers on that promise, placing SPL far in front of its competition. SPL can now effectively package and deliver the benefits of a sole-source vendor to utility customers - something previously unavailable in this market."

"GFI's goal was to bring together the components to create an end-to-end software vision for the global utility industry. SPL and Synergen are the perfect complement - both from a product synergy standpoint, as well as their closely aligned customer-centric philosophies," said Andrew Osler, senior vice president of GFI. "We're quite enthusiastic about SPL's strategic growth and range as we continue to carefully execute our vision to provide the best-in-class solutions that meet the challenges today's utilities face."

"SPL has responded to market demands by providing an industry process solution set that I anticipate being very competitive in the marketplace," commented renowned utility industry analyst Warren B. Causey. "As a company, this strategic merger has also skirted the limitations on growth we have seen for many best-of-breed companies, especially in the Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) arena."

The new integrated SPL entity will make its industry debut next month at the 15th annual DistribuTech Conference and Exhibition in San Diego, Calif., on Jan. 25-28. Visitors can experience the SPL vision in action via live demonstrations of the integrated solution set, as well as vital stand-alone applications that support mission-critical utility work processes.

About SPL
SPL (www.splwg.com) delivers the proven software applications that help utilities around the world achieve competitive advantage and excellence in business performance, while ensuring a lower total cost of technology ownership. SPL solutions in customer care and billing, enterprise asset and work management, outage management, mobile workforce management, and distribution management are specifically designed for energy, water, and service companies. Working with systems-integration and technology partners around the world, SPL has an unparalleled record of implementation success. SPL focuses on clients' return on investment and fosters long-term relationships based on confidence and trust.

About GFI
GFI Energy Ventures LCC (www.gfienergy.com) is a significant equity investor in established, industry-leading companies in the energy industry. Since 1995, GFI has originated more than 40 investments in successful companies that provide systems, software, equipment and services primarily to the utility industry and related sectors. GFI oversees a portfolio of companies with a market value in excess of $2 billion and is the co-general partner with Oaktree Capital Management LLC of the $454 million OCM/GFI Power Opportunities Fund L.P.

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