Commerce Ventures LLC, today announced a strategic partnership with Model N Inc., a privately held technology company that provides industry-specific marketplace solutions. The two companies have come together to design, develop and operate an Internet marketplace for the $70 billion beef, pork and poultry products industry. This is the next step in a series of moves leading towards the launch of Commerce Ventures' beef, pork and poultry online exchange, currently scheduled for early 2001.

Commerce Ventures will operate as a neutral, web-based exchange open to the entire industry, providing a place for buyers and sellers of beef, pork and poultry products to connect with each other. Livestock will not be bought or sold on the exchange. Users of the exchange will benefit from faster and more direct product comparison, increased inventory visibility, reduced paperwork and duplication of effort, streamlined negotiation processes and automated workflow. The five founding partners include: IBP Inc. (NYSE: IBP), Cargill and its red meat business (Excel Corporation), Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE:TSN), Gold Kist Inc. and Farmland Industries Inc.'s red meat businesses (Farmland National Beef and Farmland Foods).

"By combining our industry knowledge with Model N's technical experience, we have taken a crucial step towards launching our exchange. Working together, we will provide more powerful tools to optimize the buying and selling of beef, pork and poultry products," said Duke Gillingham, interim chief operating officer of Commerce Ventures. "Commerce Ventures will be an invaluable resource and the leading business-to-business site for our customers and the industry by providing an open forum for information, trade and competition."

"The next generation industry marketplace will combine deep domain expertise with sophisticated technology," said Chris Vroom, managing director, B2B Internet research, Credit Suisse First Boston. "Time to liquidity will require industry leaders to channel their core business to the industry marketplace, which must be powered by robust technology with the functionality to entice users and the ability to scale their transactions."

Model N provides industry-specific solutions designed to augment existing marketplace solutions and to leverage participants' existing information technology through seamless integration with back-end and legacy systems. Model N builds technology that can be rapidly deployed to create efficiencies throughout an entire industry. Over the course of the next year, teams from Commerce Ventures and Model N will work jointly to develop value-added services specifically designed to support the complex practices of the meat and poultry products industry.

"Model N is very excited to partner with Commerce Ventures," said Zack Rinat, chief executive officer and founder of Model N. "Commerce Ventures is an ideal partner because they bring two ingredients essential to the ultimate success of a vertical marketplace--deep domain expertise and industry backing."

About Commerce Ventures

Commerce Ventures is a neutral, web-based exchange focusing on buyers and sellers of meat and poultry products and related services. In addition to launching the online business-to-business marketplace in 2001, Commerce Ventures' long-range goal is to become a key e-business services provider to the meat and poultry industry by powering transactions over a broad range of marketplaces that will coexist in the food industry.

About Model N

Model N Inc. provides industry-specific marketplace solutions that rapidly enable efficient execution of complex business processes. Model N's technology augments and leverages existing marketplace products and information systems. Incorporated in December 1999 and located in Silicon Valley, Model N is a private company funded by Accel-KKR.