UPDATE - Grand Adventures Sues Software Vendors

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Grand Adventures Sues Software Vendors

Jul 10, 2000 04:12 PM ET

By Marla Dial, dbusiness.com

AUSTIN, Texas, July 10 (dbusiness.com) -- Fuming over an alleged systems outage, Grand Adventures Tour & Travel Publishing Corp. is suing two companies and several individuals over their TourTek software package.

The lawsuit, filed in Travis County, names Vancouver-based Solars Computing Systems Inc., Orbit Network Inc. and five individuals - all officers or directors of either Solars or Orbit - as defendants. Executives did not name the individuals in a press release.

Solars (Vancouver: SCS) - which specializes in business-to-business software for the travel industry - owns the TourTek software program, which was licensed to Grand Adventures by Orbit in June 1999. Orbit sells e-commerce systems to travel companies.

Grand Adventures (Nasdaq: GATT) claims the software didn't work as the vendors promised, and that the "software issue" will cause a delay in the company's second-quarter earnings announcement.

According to a press release issued by Solars, Grand Adventures also claims the alleged TourTek glitch "was responsible for a computer system failure at GATT's headquarters, resulting in a loss of data."

Grand Adventures is seeking damages - although executives did not say how much in a prepared statement - and up to three times as much in punitive damages, in accordance with the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act.

Solars Chairman Lawrence O'Brien called the lawsuit "frivolous, vexatious and completely without merit" in a prepared statement. A company spokesman could not be reached immediately for further comment.

Grand Adventures supplies travel information and services to several niche markets - such as wedding trip planners - through magazines and Websites. The company gained profitability last year, posting net income of $402,000, or 13 cents per share, on $27.9 million in revenues for fiscal 1999. That's up from a $1.69 million loss, or 58 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company announced separately today that it is licensing customer relationship management products and services from software giant Siebel Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: SEBL) for its main call center, marketing and sales information management system.

Shares were up slightly at $3.25 in mid-afternoon trading. Grand Adventures' stock has ranged from $2 to $6.88 during the past year.

Marla Dial covers the Austin region for dbusiness.com. E-mail her with story ideas or comments.


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