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IBM Offers Web-Based Leasing Program to Small Businesses Through A Strategic Global Alliance with Heller Financial, Inc.

SuccessLease Program Extended Worldwide

NORTH CASTLE, New York - 08 Jun 2000: -- IBM today announced a strategic alliance between IBM Global Financing and Heller Financial, Inc. (NYSE:HF) to introduce a Web-based leasing program for small businesses around the world. Under the program, called SuccessLease, small businesses in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America can acquire complete e-business solutions using simplified access to quick and convenient web-enabled financing.

Offered through IBM Business Partners, as well as directly from IBM via ShopIBM, SuccessLease has been available in North America since early 1999. Through the global alliance with Heller, SuccessLease is now available in the United Kingdom, France, Japan and Chile, in addition to the United States and Canada. Plans are also in place to introduce SuccessLease in several other countries in Europe and Asia through the IBM/Heller alliance.

Under the global program, small businesses -- typically with up to 100 employees -- can finance up to $50,000 in hardware, software and services in just minutes. Heller Global Vendor Finance will provide the financing and administration of SuccessLease worldwide.

Linda Ryan, vice president of marketing for IBM Global Financing, commented on the benefit that SuccessLease provides to small business customers. "IT financing is a critical tool that enables small businesses to acquire the IT solutions they need to remain competitive, to grow, and to implement new e-business applications, while preserving their other sources of cash," said Ms. Ryan. "IBM Global Financing recognizes that the traditional financing application process can be lengthy for these smaller companies, and SuccessLease changes this by providing easier, rapid credit approval over the Internet."

"In my daily activities quick turnaround is important, so I was delighted when my software vendor introduced me to SuccessLease," said Henry Satt, president and CEO, Seashore Food Distributors in Rio Grande, NJ. "The whole transaction and approval process literally took only a few minutes, and I was able to get back to the business at hand."

SuccessLease is available for IBM and non-IBM hardware, software, and services, allowing qualified customers to benefit from one-stop shopping. Other features include attractive lease rates and quick credit decisions, usually in minutes, which are executed online.

"This announcement is an important step in support of IBM Global Financing's strategy to align with other select financial partners, and provide a broader array of offerings for our customers," said Joel Raven, vice president of acquisitions and strategic alliances for IBM Global Financing. "Teaming IBM Global Financing's strength in IT financing with Heller's expertise in high-volume leasing programs gives us a small-ticket leasing capability with tremendous worldwide growth potential."

"We're delighted to enter into a strategic relationship with the world's largest IT financier," said Frederick E. Wolfert, Heller's President and COO. "Working together, Heller and IBM Global Financing are offering Business Partners a simple, reliable financing solution for the small business customer. With SuccessLease, IBM customers in key international markets will have quick, easy access through Heller to the lease financing they need to fund their IT growth."

As the largest IT financier in the world, IBM Global Financing offers customers in more than 40 countries leasing and financing solutions for hardware, software and services acquired from IBM and other vendors. With more than $44 billion in annual financing originations in 1999, IBM Global Financing also provides flexible commercial financing for inventory, accounts receivable and acquisitions. In the U.S., financing is provided through IBM Credit Corporation. Visit the IBM Global Financing home page at http://www.ibm.com/financing.

Heller Financial, Inc., is a worldwide commercial finance company providing a broad range of financing solutions to middle-market and small business clients. With nearly $19 billion in total assets, Heller offers equipment financing and leasing, sales finance programs, collateral- and cash flow-based financing, financing for healthcare companies and financing for commercial real estate. The company also offers trade finance, factoring, asset-based lending, leasing and vendor finance products and programs to clients in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Heller's common stock is listed as "HF" on the New York and Chicago Stock Exchanges. Heller can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.hellerfinancial.com.

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SuccessLease is a trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.

Contact(s) information

Carol J. Blaszczynski
IBM Global Financing
(914) 765-6647

Ivor Coleman
IBM Global Financing, UK
44-20-8818-5523

Joe St Henry
Heller Financial, Inc.
(248) 680-4386

Kazuhiko Suyama
IBM Global Financing, Japan
81-3-5563-4288

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Hardware leasing, software and services financing, commercial financing, inventory, accounts receivable, term loans, acquisition financing
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