NZ firm goes spare in Europe

A New Zealand company has struck a $20 million deal with a group of European investors, to develop the Web-based service it launched several months ago. Horizon Consultants operates an engineering spare parts database on the Internet and currently claims to hold 'the exact physical location' of more than 1.75 million spare parts. Its inventory has been doubling every month.

A New Zealand company has struck a $20 million deal with a group of European investors, to develop the Web-based service it launched several months ago.

Horizon Consultants operates an engineering spare parts database on the Internet (horizonsparesfinder.com) and currently claims to hold "the exact physical location" of more than 1.75 million spare parts. Its inventory has been doubling every month.

The contract with 31 European investors will see the subscriber service developed for expansion through the European Union and Eastern European states.

Horizon director Brian Oxenham says the Europeans are partners in a new company sparesFinder.com.ltd, which has been formed to market Horizon's idea.

Oxenham says European backing is a sign of confidence from the international engineering market.

"Horizonsparesfinder.com already has more than one hundred subscriber companies in the Southern Hemisphere, and a database with 1.75 million parts," he says.

"The European distributorship is a huge boost for the company. Clearly we have created a huge distribution machine for Europe, and now we can turn our attention to the US and Canadian markets."

Under the terms of the agreement, , the European investors have raised about 400,000 pounds sterling to finance the launch of the service through Europe. The net present value of the contract (which is denominated in Euros) based on their agreed minimum financial return, is $NZ20 million.

Horizon's existing Australasian clients include Shell NZ and Australia, BP Australia, Caltex Australia, and the New Zealand dairy group. Subscription is on the basis of an annual fixed fee of $NZ2600.

Horizonsparesfinder.com is also being pitched to manufacturers and other suppliers of spare parts, as a cheaper and more efficient alternative to advertising in trade journals.

Software for the service was developed by Hamilton firm CSE on an Informix platform.

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