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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ralph D. McRae
Chairman and CEO
Leading Brands, Inc.
Toll Free: 1-800-729-2746 ext. 238
Sentai Software Consulting Corp.
Toll Free: 1-888-773-6824 ext 28
LEADING BRANDS, INC. ANNOUNCES JOINT VENTURE
SENTAI SOFTWARE CONSULTING CORP. TO DESIGN
BUSINESS TO CONSUMER AND BUSINESS TO BUSINESS
E-COMMERCE WEBSITE AND INTEGRATED HIGH TECHNOLOGY
FULFILLMENT SYSTEM FOR QUICK.COM, INC.
VANCOUVER, CANADA, December 15, 1999 LEADING BRANDS, INC. (NASDAQ:LBIX), Canadaís largest independent, fully integrated brand management company, and Sentai Software Consulting Corp. (www.sentai.com) are pleased to announce that they have entered into an agreement pursuant to which Sentai will develop the business to consumer e-commerce web site and the technology to support the sophisticated delivery and warehousing system required by the Companyís Quick.com, Inc. subsidiary (www.quick.com).
Quick.com, Inc. will initially focus its business on the local delivery of name brand, non-perishable grocery and related products, purchased via a unique, easy to use web site. Service is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2000 and be rolled out in the major metropolitan centers across North America. Additionally, Quick.com, Inc. will offer local, real time fulfillment for other e-tailers and will provide a venue for third party distributors to market and sell products to their retail customers through the Quick.comÒ portal.
Under the terms of the three year deal, Sentai will be issued approximately $650,000US of LBIX common shares and receive 3% of the common stock of Quick.com, Inc. for each year of the term of the agreement. In return, the Company will receive software, licensing, maintenance, development and upgrades with a value of more than $4 million US.
Throughout the term of the agreement, Sentai will continue to develop, maintain and enhance the Quick.com, Inc. e-commerce web-site and the Company will only pay Sentaiís out of pocket costs for those services. Leading Brands will also receive a royalty on installations of Sentai Software with its affiliated distributors. Sentai software is already utilized by a significant portion of the Companyís operations, with the balance of that installation scheduled for completion in February 2000.
Sentai provides complete distribution and financial solutions to businesses, worldwide. Sentaiís integrated applications deliver an efficient, cost-effective environment for companies to manage their front office, distribution, warehouse and e-commerce requirements in the industrial, consumer goods and electronics industries. Sentaiís CompassÔ e-commerce solution extends its inherently flexible, multi-lingual, multi-currency enterprise applications to the Internet to deliver powerful business to business and business to consumer services. Sentaiís extensible WebBookÔ environment provides CompassÔ an unparalleled ability to deal with the evolving business processes on the World Wide Web. Sentaiís full suite of applications for business intelligence, automated warehouses, sophisticated replenishment and superior customer service operate in multiple computing environments including NT and UNIX and are Java, HTML and XML enabled.
Since 1984, Sentai software has been installed internationally in companies as diverse as Dominoís Pizza, Brenntag and AT&T with installs ranging from single locations to complex distributed networks supporting thousands of users.
Leading Brands, Inc. Chairman & CEO Ralph D. McRae said: "We have spent more than two years analyzing the various available enterprise software solutions. Sentai has impressed us with being able to provide a complete solution to our logistics needs. They also understand our goal of making business to consumer e-commerce much easier to employ and the general need to make the Internet shopping experience more user-friendly.
"Our arrangement with Sentai is a perfect example of our strategy of developing world-class solutions at a much lower cost than our competitors by partnering with our key suppliers. In Sentai, we have found a partner that is a leader in the sophisticated technology necessary for Quick.com, Inc. to provide a completely seamless, automated solution to its customers. The terms of the arrangement motivate Sentai to maintain both Leading Brands, Inc. and Quick.com, Inc. at the forefront of technological development, at a small fraction of the cost we would experience in a conventional supplier relationship. Hence, the capital requirements to roll out our system will be substantially reduced."
Sentai Software, Co-Founder David Kauffman added: "We have been looking for the right partner to lever the power of our fulfillment and e-commerce products. Leading Brandsí proven track record and forward thinking approach represents the perfect fit. Their well-conceived business to consumer and business to business strategy, which meshes ideally with our talents and experience, ultimately convinced us. We see an ideal synergy that combines Sentaiís existing investment in technological solutions for inventory management and e-commerce with Leading Brandsí established expertise in brand management and product delivery.
"Under the terms of the arrangement we will provide Leading Brands, Inc., Quick.com, Inc. and their affiliated distributors with the technology, support and technical management necessary to design and implement a sophisticated, integrated e-commerce solution, at a significantly lower out of pocket cost than would be available conventionally."
Quick.comÒ : Just try to forget our name!Ô
Quick.com is a registered trademark of Quick.com, Inc.
Statements in this news release that are not historical are to be regarded as forward-looking statements which are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. Such risks and uncertainties with respect to the Companyís business include general economic conditions, competition, the ability of the Company to raise financing, weather conditions, changing consumption trends, pricing and the availability of products and raw materials and economic uncertainties, including currency.