Three major investors in technology company Advantage Group are to consolidate their holdings into a new e-commerce venture, ePac.
Wiltshire Technology Holdings (owned by interests associated with Advantage Chairman Evan Christian and Advantage director, Nick Gordon) and Eric Watson's Cullen Investments will combine their holdings into "an international e-commerce investment company" that owns around 22.7 million of the 48.8 million Advantage shares on issue.
The investors say ePac will acquire interests in other e-commerce initiatives, building a network of business-to-business e-commerce companies in Europe and Asia Pacific and making acquisitions and investments with international partners.
"Consolidating our holdings in Advantage into a single entity establishes ePac as a significant Internet investment company and creates a platform from which we can pursue international e-commerce opportunities," says Christian, citing analysts' predictions of booming growth in e-commerce worldwide.
"As a result of this growth, there is a worldwide shortage of web developers: professional Web services companies operating in advanced markets are commanding market valuations of 20 to 30 times revenue.
"Likewise companies with transaction processing expertise are also in high demand. Advantage has expertise in both areas, and will be in a position to grow revenues and margins from the business-to-business development opportunities that ePac brings and the transactions rising out of them."
Watson says ePac will remain committed to its stake in Advantage. "In fact, because our position in Advantage is critical to the success of the new venture, and because we believe Advantage is undervalued, ePac may seek to increase its shareholding in Advantage Group.
"Advantage will benefit from its association with ePac in several ways. Not only will the company gain international project development work in this region, in its core competencies, it will also grow its local customer base for e-commerce, retail solutions and point of sale equipment, by becoming a preferred supplier of companies owned by Cullen Investments. "
The investors say ePac will consider an IPO on NASDAQ, and intends to offer the other shareholders in Advantage Group the opportunity to participate.