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Highline Media Acquires Insurance and Banking Data Assets from Thomson Media


Erlanger, KY -- Today Highline Media's data affiliate, Highline Data LLC, acquired certain insurance and banking data assets from Thomson Media, a division of The Thomson Corporation. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Highline Media was formed in October 2003 by Spire Capital Partners, L.P., and headed by Andrew L. Goodenough, its President and Chief Executive Officer, to acquire business-to-business information assets in the financial services, insurance and real estate fields. Highline's first acquisition was The National Underwriter Company ("NUCO"), the leading publisher of insurance information in the U.S. Highline's intent has been to use NUCO as a base from which to build a multi-market, multi-product publishing and information services business, including a combination of magazine, data, newsletter, conference, trade show, website and book assets, delivered in print, electronic and live event form.

The acquired insurance and banking data assets have been marketed under the Thomson Financial Insurance Solutions and the Sheshunoff Information Services names. The group's leading products in insurance data, derived principally from National Association of Insurance Commissioners ("NAIC") statutory data, include U.S. Insurance, Insurance Analyst, Insurance Analyst Pro, and the InsLink spreadsheet add-in. The group also publishes the newsletters Insurance Chronicle, Insurance M&A Weekly and the Daily Insurance Reporter. In banking, the group's BankSource and BankSearch product lines deliver data principally from federal regulatory authorities, and provide proprietary financial, M&A and branch data on U.S. banks and financial institutions. A more complete description of these products can be found at www.tfinsurance.com and www.banksource.sheshunoff.com.

Immediately following the acquisition, Highline Data will have two principal product lines, one known as National Underwriter Insurance Data Services, and the other as Highline Banking Data Services. Prior corporate names used in conjunction with these products, including Thomson Financial Insurance Solutions and Sheshunoff Information Services, will continue to be used during a brief period of re-branding.

Goodenough has more than 25 years' experience in financial industry publishing and information services, and prior to founding Highline Media, served as the President of the Financial Publishing and Conferences Group, a division of The Thomson Corporation. "When the opportunity arose to acquire Thomson Media's insurance and banking data assets, we recognized the superb fit to the array of insurance and financial products from our first acquisition, NUCO," Goodenough said. "Insurance data in summary form will provide strong content for our newsweeklies, National Underwriter Property-Casualty and Life-Health editions, adding value to our more than 350,000 insurance readers. The banking data business allows us to continue our expansion beyond our traditional insurance roots to the broad array of financial services. It will be a pleasure to work closely once again with a number of managers I knew while at The Thomson Corporation, and I welcome the entire data staff to our combined organization."

Business headquarters for the unit will remain in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Austin, Texas, with sales and support staff located in major U.S. cities.

For more information, please contact:
Andrew L. Goodenough, President and Chief Executive, Highline Data LLC

For product information, please contact:
National Underwriter Insurance Data Services: Francis "Reilly" Cobb, Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Highline Banking Data Services: Bill Short, Director

About The National Underwriter Company

NUCO, formed in 1897, is the leading publishing and information services business for the insurance industry. Headquarters are in Erlanger, Kentucky, a suburb of Cincinnati, and principal editorial and advertising sales offices are in Hoboken, New Jersey. NUCO's Insurance Magazine Division publishes two weekly newsmagazines for the property/casualty and life/health sectors of insurance carrying the National Underwriter brand. The company also publishes Claims, a monthly magazine for claims executives; Tech Decisions, for IT insurance professionals; and the regional monthly, Florida Underwriter. In live events, NUCO sponsors its annual ACE/SCLA claims conference, the nation's largest, and co-located with its TechDec technology event, and is launching the Life Insurance Sales Mastery Forum this fall. NUCO's Professional Publishing Division issues its Fire, Casualty and Surety bulletins, reporting on the latest developments in insurance policy application and legal interpretation; and TaxFacts annuals, summarizing how the tax code affects insurance benefits and investment decisions, among some 160 titles in all. For more information about NUCO, visit www.nuco.com.

About Spire Capital

Spire Capital Partners, L.P. is a $260 million private equity fund focused exclusively on the media and communications industries. The principals of Spire Capital have served as owners, managers, investors and advisors of companies in the media and communications industries for more than 20 years. Spire Capital has a diversified limited partner base that includes several prominent media and communications industry executives. In addition, Spire Capital works closely with its portfolio companies to raise capital, secure contracts, establish strategic relationships, develop operating plans and recruit management. For more information on Spire Capital, visit www.spirecapital.com.

About the NAIC

Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is a voluntary organization of the chief insurance regulatory officials of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories. The association's overriding objective is to assist state insurance regulators in protecting consumers and helping maintain the financial stability of the insurance industry by offering financial, actuarial, legal, computer, research, market conduct and economic expertise. Formed in 1871, it is the oldest association of state officials. For more information, visit NAIC on the Web at www.naic.org/pressroom.