LOS ANGELES, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire/ -SMARTALK(SM) Teleservices, Inc. (Nasdaq: SMTK) today announced that it has signed an exclusive retail and vending agreement with Simon Brand Ventures, an affiliate of Simon DeBartolo Group (NYSE: SPG), the nation's largest publicly traded developer and operator of shopping malls including Mall of America and the Forum Shops located at Caesar's Palace.Under the terms of the agreement, SMARTALK prepaid long- distance calling cards will ultimately be offered for sale in more than 130 shopping malls nationwide primarily through vending machines and customer service kiosks and used as premium and promotional items in Simon DeBartolo Group mall events. SMARTALK is currently rolling out prepaid calling cards through ATM machines at Simon DeBartolo properties under the Company's distribution agreement with ATM marketer AmeriCash signed in April of this year.The Company expects product roll out to occur during the first quarter of 1998.
"This agreement gives consumers the ability to purchase SMARTALK products in premier, high-traffic shopping malls across the country while increasing SMARTALK's brand awareness and new customer trials through Simon DeBartolo Group national promotions. In addition, many of these properties such as Mall of America and the Forum Shops attract a large international audience, which we see as an opportunity to expand international usage of our prepaid products and services," said Robert H. Lorsch, Chairman and CEO of SMARTALK."In addition, we're excited about the prospect of tapping into SDG's wide array of marketing vehicles, from their mall publications to their electronic and interactive channels.
David Simon, CEO Simon DeBartolo Group, said, "About one-half of all Americans shop regularly at our malls.This agreement marks an important step forward in Simon's strategy to provide stronger purchasing relationships with these loyal shoppers, as well as better information to our marketing partners about what our customers prefer."
SMARKTALK recently announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire ConQuest Telecommunication Services Corp., a Dublin, Ohio-based developer and marketer of prepaid calling cards and other enhanced telecommunications services.ConQuest currently distributes its cards through more than 6,000 storefronts and provides domestic and international calling card services for the tour and travel industry.
SMARTALK manufactures and distributes prepaid calling cards and other enhanced telecommunications products which are sold at retail and marketed to advertising and promotional clientele.SMARTALK maintains retail distribution agreements with mass merchandisers, consumer electronics retailers, supermarkets and home office superstores, such as Office Depot, Future Shop, Venture Stores, The Good Guys, Staples, Service Merchandise, Jewel/Osco Combo Stores, Osco Drug, Sav-On Drug, OfficeMax, Dominick's Finer Foods, Eckerd Drug, Food4Less, Ralphs Supermarkets, Bradlees, Marshall Field's, Best Buy, and Builders Square, as well as university book stores and convenience stores nationwide.The Company also holds a variety of entertainment licenses for phone cards including Star Wars.SMARTALK also offers specialized value-added phone card and promotional programs, supporting a significant client base including Gillette, Hewlett-Packard, Wells Fargo Bank, Nabisco, Pfizer and Prudential Securities.
Based in Los Angeles, with additional offices in Boston, Orlando and San Francisco, SMARTALK is a member of the Telecommunications Resellers Association, International Telecard Association and the Consumer Electronics Manufacturer's Association.
Simon DeBartolo Group, Inc., headquartered in Indianapolis, is a self- administered and self-managed real estate investments trust which, through its subsidiary partnerships, is engaged primarily in the ownership, development, management, leasing, acquisition and expansion of income-producing properties, primarily regional malls and community shopping centers.It currently owns or has an interest in 187 properties which consist of existing regional malls, community shopping centers and specialty and mixed-use properties containing an aggregate of 115 million square feet of gross leasable area in 33 states. Simon DeBartolo Group, together with its affiliated management company, manages approximately 131 million square feet of gross leasable area in retail and mixed-use properties.
Simon DeBartolo Group is the largest publicly traded real estate investment trust company in North America as measured by market capitalization, with a current total in excess of $9.9 billion.
Note:Certain statements made herein that are not historical are forward- looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform act of 1995.Such statements include, but are not limited to, the Company's roll out into Simon DeBartolo properties in a timely fashion, traffic volume in Simon DeBartolo properties, the international mix of consumers at Simon DeBartolo malls and consumer acceptance of the Company's products marketed through Simon DeBartolo properties.Investors are cautioned that all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, risks related to the Company's ability to successfully complete the acquisition of ConQuest; market acceptance and consumer demand for the Company's products and services and pricing dependence on third-party vendors. The Company's agreements with its distributors generally do not assure that the Company will generate a specific level of revenue and are terminable on relatively short notice.Investors who seek more information about the Company's business and relevant risk factors may wish to review the Company's SEC reports, including, but not limited to, its Annual Report on Form 10-K for 1996, and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.