SOURCE: WHITTMANHART

January 27, 2006 07:17 ET

WHITTMANHART Expands East With Acquisition of Washington, D.C. Based Interactive Marketing Solutions Company Estco.net, LLC

CHICAGO,IL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 27, 2006 -- WHITTMANHART, a Chicago-based premier services company providing integrated solutions in digital communications, process improvement and enabling technologies, today announces the acquisition of Estco.net, LLC, an interactive marketing solutions company located in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Additionally, John Estafanous, founder of Estco.net, LLC, was named director of technology for WHITTMANHART Interactive. He will continue to manage WHITTMANHART's newly acquired Washington, D.C. office.

"John brings leadership strength and a shared vision to our organization," said David Skinner, president of WHITTMANHART Interactive. "He understands how the interactive business will migrate in the future and will help our clients stay a step ahead of their competition. We also share a similar entrepreneurial spirit and organizational culture."

The deal continues to expand WHITTMANHART's eastbound footprint, which has marched from Columbus, Ohio, to Philadelphia and now to Washington, D.C.; and grows WHITTMANHART's headcount by a dozen. This brings the company to more than 350 employees with 160 of those working in the Interactive division.

"This is the next step in our active growth strategy which is both strategic through acquisition and organic," Skinner said. "Estco.net is a healthy company and will yield a positive impact to our bottom-line. The deal complements our overall growth strategy and fits well with our long-term goals to continue our eastward expansion. We will continue to be opportunistic in the marketplace throughout 2006."

The Estco acquisition adds depth and strength to WHITTMANHART's interactive technology service offerings by providing more flexible and robust Macromedia Flash expertise along with other proprietary software and content management tools. Skinner and Estafanous both agree in their commitment to providing the best technology, the most powerful strategies and a strong return on investment for clients.

"My goal is to continue to enhance WHITTMANHART Interactive's technology capabilities ranging from front-end development to comprehensive end-to-end solutions," said Estafanous. "My team will focus on the technological underpinnings that make our clients' Web sites and applications operate efficiently and seamlessly. At Estco, we truly believe in the importance of teamwork, not just within the office but with our customers as well. Now, that philosophy will carry over into all of our work at WHITTMANHART." Estafanous brings more than a dozen years of experience, as well as the collective experience of his team, to WHITTMANHART. Estco Co-founder Seth Berger will also join the WHITTMANHART team as the technology lead for the D.C. office.

About WHITTMANHART

Headquartered in Chicago, WHITTMANHART is a premier consulting agency providing integrated solutions in digital communications, process improvement and enabling technologies. WHITTMANHART draws on more than 20 years of quality work, strong client relationships and value-driven solutions for focused industries to deliver best-in-class solutions to all of its clients. WHITTMANHART has two divisions: Interactive and Performance Management. For more information visit: www.WHITTMANHART.com

About Estco Medical

Estco.net, LLC, founded by Estafanous, Berger and Heather Kagin in 1999, offered marketing solutions primarily for life sciences companies. The Estco team began developing Web based solutions in the '90s, including touch-screen data modules, customized technologies and electronic learning applications. Additionally, the company provided strategic, creative and technology consulting services including information architecture, GUI, Web site development and custom software development.

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