West 175 Media Group Inc
9 October 2000
WEST 175 MEDIA ACQUIRES 49% OF NEW ZEALAND'S
LARGEST VODAFONE DEALERSHIP
West 175 Media Group Inc ('West 175'), the lifestyle media group listed on
AIM, today announced the acquisition of a 49 per cent equity interest in
Centurion GSM ('GSM'), the owner and operator of a network of 20 Digital
Mobile ('DM') retail outlets throughout New Zealand and the country's largest
and most successful Vodafone dealership.
The purchase price is NZ$1.98m (£588,000) which will be satisfied by the issue
of 238,905 new shares in West 175.
GSM is an exclusive Vodafone dealer and is the biggest single provider of
corporate connections to the Vodafone network in New Zealand. Vodafone also
recently acquired a shareholding in GSM, which is expected to facilitate joint
business initiatives between Vodafone and West 175.
GSM was established in 1996 by three shareholders, including Peter Simpson,
who took full control in September 1999. Mr Simpson has grown the company
through strong revenue growth and tight control of overheads and, in the 9
months since he took control, GSM has returned earnings of NZ$167,000 before
interest, depreciation and tax.
The acquisition follows last month's purchase of a 24.9 per cent equity
interest in Central Park Interactive Limited ('CPI'), New Zealand's leading
interactive software retail chain, for a consideration of £303,450, satisfied
by the issue of 156,015 new ordinary shares in West 175.
Together, these two acquisitions give West 175 access to New Zealand's second
biggest group of retail outlets selling Internet connections to the general
consumer and business- to-business markets. They will also add revenue to
Actrix Networks, New Zealand's longest-established Internet Service Provider
in which West 175 acquired a 60 per cent equity interest in May this year.
Commenting, John McEwen, Chief Executive of West 175, said:
'This acquisition should deliver benefits to both West 175 and Vodafone New
Zealand Limited as leading edge solutions can be developed for both the local
and international markets. Vodafone and companies such as Actrix will enable
new services to be delivered faster and more efficiently than competitive
Rohan Courtney, Chairman, added:
'The commercial benefits of the transaction include:
1. Closer relationships with Vodafone New Zealand Limited;
2. A strong and effective 'business-to-business' distribution channel for
Actrix products and services. This includes internet/email
services, extending to the hosting of web sites and web site design
3. Points of presence on a national basis for Actrix marketing;
4. A strong performing business with increased sales and bottom line
5. Options for Actrix to participate in e-commerce solutions;
6. Vodafone becomes an advertiser to West 175's stations, providing a
minimum of approximately NZ$250,000 in the next twelve months;
7. GSM is provided with the opportunity to diversify its activities
through the introduction of related products and services.
Internet services are an ideal service to package into the corporate
Rohan Courtney, Chairman, West 175 Media Group Inc 020 8398 7175
Mobile: 07879 498 544
Peter Binns, Binns & Co. 020 7786 9600