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Watson reshuffles his e-business deck

By Aimee McClinchy

Friday 23rd June 2000

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Entrepreneur Eric Watson's Nasdaq-hopeful group Qixel Capital has revealed its plans as part of the rebranding of Wang New Zealand.

Wang is to be known as gen-i and will provide technology not only to the same large corporates it has over past years but to the small startup companies Qixel invests in in the Asia region.

The name gen-i, an abbreviation of generation intelligence, has been created as a new buzz word for its technology nous.

The name change also further distanced Wang from failed computer manufacturer Wang Laboratories, which it spun off several years ago.

Gen-i's launch also signals the demise of Blue Star Business Solutions, which has been broken up and its holdings in its other companies renamed Geni.

Mr Watson's shareholdings have been shuffled in past months as Wang and strategic partner Auldhouse Computer Training were moved from Blue Star Business Solutions (under Cullen Investments) into holding company Geni IT, in turn owned by Qixel.

Qixel also owns 46% of Advantage Group shares.

The old Wang would be positioned as an internet integrator - designing, building and implementing websites, long-distance hosted IT systems, portals and "online marketplaces," chief executive Garth Biggs said.

It will resell brands including Hewlett-Packard, Compaq and Microsoft.

Blue Star Business Solutions companies, Cogent/Hart Candy were recently placed under new holding company Geni Communications, Ubix is held by Geni Document Solutions and BSG Finance is now held by Geni Finance.

"Blue Star Business Solutions has been disintermediated," its chief executive, Anthony Howard, said.

"We are moving those companies into groupings that are more understandable to the market, as was always the plan."

He said further name changes or rebrandings may yet occur and the groups may look to eventually list if the market became favourable.

Business Solutions bought in corporate consultant Greg Kay several months ago to help tidy up the assets (NBR, March 24).

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