Brazil's Universo goes online in Argentina

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SAO PAULO--Universo Online, the Brazilian portal owned by the Abril and Folha Groups, is introducing its first Spanish-language operations in Argentina with the launch of UOL Argentina.

Argentina is the first of six Spanish-language portals UOL is rolling out before the end of the year. Other markets include Mexico, Chile,Venezuela, Colombia and the U.S.

UOL Argentina is a business unit of UOL Inc., with 87.5% belonging to the Folha and Abril Groups, and 12.5% owned by a group of investors including Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Private Equity, Blackstone Capital Partners III, Providence Equity Partners, Credit Suisse First Boston Garantia, Deutsche Bank Capital Partners Latin America, Hambrecht & QuistLatinvest Asset Management and Reuters Group.

UOL Argentina is based in Buenos Aires. The portal intends to represent the cultural identity of Argentina through chat rooms and local news.

Visits are being measured by the ACNielsen service I/PRO. NetGravity will help measure the effectiveness of online campaigns.

"We intend to respect the cultural identity of each country we'll be entering", says Patricia Tomasini, product director at UOL International.

UOL Brazil posted 1.3 billion page-views on the trimester ending 30 June and achieved half a million subscribers, plus another 4.6 million visitors.

Copyright October 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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