BT today announced the acquisition of Fresca Limited, the specialist retail e-commerce service provider. The acquisition will significantly strengthen the e-commerce and IT integration capabilities of BT Expedite, the retail solutions division of BT, enabling it to provide a seamless multichannel shopping experience for retail customers.

Established in 2000 and headquartered in High Wycombe, Fresca provides fully managed and hosted e-commerce services to over 20 retailers and e-tailers such as Mosaic Fashions (whose brands include Oasis, Karen Millen, Warehouse, Shoe Studio, Principles and Coast), Thomas Pink, Great Little Trading Co., Habitat, Moss, Phase Eight, Whistles and Harvey Nichols.

The acquisition of Fresca will allow BT Expedite to offer a comprehensive e-commerce platform, highly customisable web store front and the flexible integration capabilities of its e-commerce engine. Fresca’s domain expertise and complementary technologies will provide BT Expedite with the platform to deliver an integrated multichannel shopping experience to retailers and customers.

Helen Slaven, CEO of BT Expedite, said: “We are delighted with the acquisition of Fresca. Through its existing products Fresca gives BT Expedite a full suite of solutions to support multichannel retailing. Fresca brings to us a strong product set and one of the sector’s leading experts in online retailing. We look forward to working with retailers as their multichannel strategies develop.”

John Bovill, Group IT Director of Mosaic Fashions, commented: “We congratulate BT Expedite on their acquisition of Fresca. We have worked with both companies for several years as jointly they provide the solutions for our entire multichannel supply chain systems from sourcing to store and online. We look forward to working closely with them as we continue to strengthen our multichannel capability.”

Sarah Hughes, MD of Fresca, said: “We are delighted to have been acquired by BT. From our earliest discussions with Helen and her colleagues at BT Expedite, the benefits of an acquisition by BT were clear for both our customers and employees. We look forward to working as part of BT in strengthening its e-commerce offering in the retail market.”

BT is acquiring the shares in Fresca from the management and employees. The gross assets of the company as at 31 March 2007 were £0.85 million.

Inquiries about this news release should be made to Gemma Thomas in the BT Press Office on +44 (0) 7740145217

About Fresca
Fresca is the company behind many of the world's fastest-growing and most successful e-commerce websites.
Leading retailers such as Mosaic Fashions (Oasis, Karen Millen, Warehouse, Shoe Studio, Principles and Coast), Thomas Pink, Great Little Trading Co., Habitat, Moss, Phase Eight, Whistles and Harvey Nichols retain Fresca to operate their e-commerce websites, running their software and infrastructure on Fresca’s commerce platform.

The Fresca commerce platform offers complete web-store flexibility.
Additionally, multichannel support is built-in, as are back-office systems for customer ordering, call-centre and fulfillment functionality.

The platform is feature-rich and covers all key retail functions, including campaign and promotions management, catalogue management, trading analysis, and a highly developed content management system for “magazine-style” content. It integrates with leading web analytics and email campaigning software, and offers standards-based integration with merchandising, fulfillment and payment systems.

For more information visit www.btfresca.com

About BT Expedite
BT Expedite is the retail specialist division within BT. They provide best of breed solutions to enable today’s multichannel retailer to thrive in today’s competitive environment. Their solution set spans every area of retailing; planning, sourcing, merchandising, store, sales analytics and CRM, plus network infrastructure, hardware and professional service expertise.

For more information visit www.btexpedite.com

About BT
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in 170 countries. Its principal activities include networked IT services; local, national and international telecommunications services; higher-value broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale. In the year ended 31 March 2007, BT Group plc’s revenue was £20,223 million with profit before taxation of £2,484 million.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York. For more information, visit www.bt.com/aboutbt

Published on: 12:00AM on 6th February 2008