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New online B2B venture for Lion Nathan

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Wednesday 20th September 2000

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Lion Nathan is getting into the online clothing and accessories business with one of Hong Kong's leading trading companies.

Lion has formed a joint venture with consumer products exporter Li and Fung to supply corporate promotional merchandise through a web-based B2B business called The business will be run out of Hong Kong with a Lion staffer as its chief executive.

Li and Fung is a Hong Kong success story which owns a network of factories around the world producing goods for huge retailing names such as The Gap and Reebok, and last year generated around $5 billion in revenue.

Lion says it approached Li and Fung with the e-partnership proposal to tap into the market for corporate promotional products.

Lion investor relations director, Warwick Bryan, says his company already spends millions of dollars a year on branded merchandise such as caps, sports bags and clothing, and it figures other businesses too will want the ability to place merchandise orders online.

" will give companies such as Coke or Pepsi, for example, the ability to choose and design a specific promotional product over the internet, dealing with a company which has vast experience in producing high volume, time sensitive consumer goods."

Lion currently sells its New Zealand corporate products through a retail site in Auckland called Beer Gear, and at its brewery sites around the country.

Mr Bryan says the new business is another example of Lion's stated aims to look for business opportunities outside its core brewing business.

Other examples include its beer delivery systems company called BarServe, which installed all the beer delivery systems at Stadium Australia, and Australian internet liquor distributor Artesian.

Artesian has been trialling its online ordering system to bars and other liquor outlets within Sydney's CBD for the past six months, and is now reviewing what the next step will be for the business.

Lion and Li and Fung plan to have up and running by the end of the year.

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