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Veria Announces Acquisition of Massage Envy Ltd.

Industry Leaders Unite to Provide Comprehensive Wellness Products and


ARLINGTON, Texas, May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Veria -- a growing natural health and wellness company combining Veria TV (a 24x7 HD television network), local wellness centers, and a lifestyle-focused website -- today announced its acquisition of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Massage Envy Ltd., LLC. Massage Envy is America's leading provider of therapeutic massage services, with 420 clinics open nationwide.

David Humphrey, President of Veria and newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of Massage Envy, said, "Massage Envy has a tremendous network of clinic staff, franchisees, and regional developers, and an experienced management team. The company's rapid growth has been remarkable, and we expect to help accelerate that growth even further."

"We'll also look for opportunities to incorporate Veria TV -- a powerful platform for educating consumers about the physical and emotional benefits of massage -- into the Massage Envy community. In addition, Veria can provide Massage Envy franchisees with an exceptional range of natural health and wellness products to offer their clients," Humphrey added.

Veria's acquisition of Massage Envy underscores the continued development of the therapeutic massage industry. Massage Envy, which has been at the forefront of the industry's growth, was founded in 2002 by former CEO John Leonesio, and has grown to 420 clinics operating in 36 states. The company has another 350 clinics already in development nationwide. Massage Envy is the single largest employer of licensed professional massage therapists, with more than 8,000 therapists providing massage every week.

"Massage Envy will help more than one million Americans this year relieve stress, work out everyday aches and pains, and relax," said Leonesio. "Veria's fast-paced growth, focus on natural wellness, and integrated lifestyle business model can perfectly complement and accelerate our own rapid expansion. I'm convinced Veria's contributions will take Massage Envy and its franchise network to an even higher level of success." Leonesio will remain with Massage Envy as a corporate director.

Veria is part of the Essel Group of companies, a multi-billion-dollar consortium encompassing television networks, cable systems, satellite communications, entertainment enterprises, and one of the world's largest packaging companies. Subhash Chandra, Chairman of the Essel Group and founder of Veria, commented that "Veria is committed to supporting consumers' growing interest in a natural wellness lifestyle. Massage is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and Massage Envy brings the benefits of massage to thousands more Americans every month by making it convenient and affordable. We are proud to welcome Massage Envy to the Essel family."

The acquisition includes Massage Envy Ltd., LLC, and its affiliates Massage Elements, LLC and Massage EN V, LLC.

Sagent Advisors Inc., an independent, privately-owned investment bank, initiated this transaction and served as financial advisor to Veria. Edgeview Partners, a subsidiary of CIT Capital Securities, LLC, advised Massage Envy during the transaction.



* Between August 2006 and June 2007, almost a quarter of Americans (24

percent) had a massage at least once.

* Forty-three percent of women and 25 percent of men have had a massage

in the last five years.

* Of these people, 30 percent report they did so for health conditions.

* Eighty-five percent agree that massage can be beneficial to health and


* According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of massage

therapists is expected to increase 20 percent from 2006 to 2016, faster

than average for all occupations.

- American Massage Therapy Association

About Veria

Veria is the primary consumer brand of Natural Wellness USA, Inc. (NWUSA), a member of the Essel Group of companies. Veria combines three major wellness businesses. Veria TV is a new high-definition television network of original natural wellness lifestyle programming, available on Channel 9575 on DISH Network(TM). Veria Wellness Centers offer wellness spa services, yoga and other classes, and a wide range of natural products including NWUSA's exclusive Veria and Chandra brands. Some Wellness Centers also feature a Natural Foods Cafe. is both a leading source of information on the natural wellness lifestyle and a major online shopping destination for natural products.

About Massage Envy

Massage Envy Limited, LLC is a national franchise of massage clinics dedicated to providing professional and affordable therapeutic massage services to consumers with busy lifestyles at convenient times and locations. Founded in 2002, Massage Envy has opened 420 clinics in 36 states in just over five years, with 350 more franchises currently under development from coast to coast.

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