Ed Trapasso
New York
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Matt Duffy
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December 07, 2000
PRA Solutions Acquires HP's Open Skies

Newly Expanded Offerings Target Improved Profitability for Airlines

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota and SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (December 6, 2000) – PRA Solutions, Inc., one of the airline industry’s leading application service providers (ASPs), today announced the acquisition of Hewlett Packard Company’s Open Skies, Inc. subsidiary, to broaden its revenue enhancement offerings for the airline industry. PRA Solutions is majority-owned by Acceture Technology Ventures, the venture capital unit of Accenture. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

PRA Solutions Inc., along with its affiliates, PRA Solutions LLC and via World Network LLC, is the leading global application and business service provider (ASP/BSP) of advanced outsourcing solutions for airline passenger financial transaction processing. Over a third of the world’s airline tickets are processed through PRA Solutions’ revenue accounting and revenue protection software. The company’s affiliate, via World Network®, has also developed the industry’s leading Internet direct connect distribution channel. The acquisition of Open Skies further extends PRA Solutions offerings with an innovative, hosted airline reservation and revenue management system developed for small to mid- size airlines.

By integrating these technologies, the airline industry can utilize an advanced information systems platform that, for the first time, focuses each of the most critical marketing, operations and financial processes on revenue enhancement. Airlines of all sizes, from the newest and fastest growing to major global carriers, can benefit from increased profitability, more efficient airline operations and higher quality passenger information from which to build and sustain customer loyalty. Collectively, PRA Solutions and Open Skies will service more than 40 airlines around the world ranging from fast growing new entrants to large major carriers.

"We are committed to building the most comprehensive information technology platform available for the airline industry," said Tom McClain, CEO of PRA Solutions. "The Open Skies hosted reservation system is an important component of our goal to integrate business support solutions for the airline industry. Their technology, combined with our IT infrastructure, airline business expertise and global operations expertise, will further improve the profitability of our airline customers."

"We highly value the relationships we have built in this marketplace, and HP will continue to work closely with PRA Solutions to deliver industry-leading services to our customers," said Jim Jenke, director of Business Development, HP Services.

PRA Solutions will continue to host Open Skies airline reservation system from the Open Skies data center in Salt Lake City as well as its own data centers in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Sydney Australia.

About Open Skies

Open Skies was organized in 1994 to provide innovative and efficient automation of products and services to the airline industry. Today, Open Skies is recognized as one of the fastest growing providers of hosted airline reservation solutions. A wide array of complementary products, including revenue management systems and integrated ticketless/e-commerce solutions, are providing airlines throughout the world with leading revenue producing solutions, while maintaining low costs. More than 20 airlines use Open Skies services, ranging from innovative new entrants to larger established carriers.

About PRA Solutions

PRA Solutions, Inc., along with its affiliates, is a pioneer in the ASP industry, providing industry leading passenger revenue accounting technology to airline customers since 1993. Customers access sophisticated client-server applications through a transaction fee or gain-sharing structure. PRA Solutions provides application management, data center management, and network management services. The ASP delivery model makes it possible to offer industry-leading applications, with reduced implementation time and risk, ensured operational reliability, and a cost-effective fee structure.

PRA Solutions’ customer base consists of over 25 worldwide clients, including 9 of the world’s 25 largest airlines, as well as a growing base of smaller airlines. PRA Solutions is headquartered in Minneapolis, with offices in Phoenix, Sydney and Manila. Accenture Technology Ventures, the venture capital unit of Accenture, is the majority investor in PRA Solutions.

Editor note: via World Network is a registered trademark of Accenture LLP