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E-Phone sells distribution business

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Thursday 23rd November 2000

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Listed communications company E-Phone (NZSE: EPH) is selling its retail phone card distribution business.

The company has sold the business to Net-Tel, which will take over servicing E-Phone's 1,500 retail outlets and its distribution and permanent PIN customers. Net-Tel will operate both the Net-Tel and E-Phone brands.

E-Phone says in return it will receive cash and retain the card recharge business.

As part of the agreement the two companies have also formed an alliance which will allow Net-Tel to provide distribution channels for E-Phone's AirCA$H and PATLOC products in Malaysia and Singapore, where Net-Tel holds government licenses and has successful prepaid phone card and toll service networks.

E-Phone plans to channel its resources to its international AirCA$H products and its in-house developed PATLOC public Internet access terminal management business.

In September E-Phone announced it was joining with tech company Advantage to market and distribute AirCA$H products in New Zealand. The initial concept was to allow customers to recharge phone cards using eftpos terminals, and later offer such services as bill payments and international cash transfers from the terminals.

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