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FlyingPig moves to new sty

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Tuesday 7th November 2000

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New Zealand's much-vaunted online retailer FlyingPig.co.nz is being sold by its joint owners Pacific Retail, Advantage Group and Blue Star Consumer Retailing.

The companies are getting out of the venture by selling the site to to the online division of IT Media, a New Zealand company which owns a number of magazine, TV and website titles. The sale price has not been disclosed.

Under the conditional arrangement both Advantage and the Blue Star division will sell their shares in FlyPig's owner, Orion Ventures, to majority shareholder Pacific Retail.

Pacific Retail will then make the residual shell of Orion a subsidiary company of PRG. On completion of the FlyingPig sale, Pacific Retail will hold an 89% stake in Orion and a 10% holding in IT Media.

PRG boss, Stefan Preston, says Orion Ventures retained valuable intellectual property and assets, which could be used to further PRG's own computing and Internet strategies.

Despite a hyped-up launch FlyingPig - like many online business-to-consumer models - has never really taken off, but Mr Preston says he has confidence in IT Media's ability to make it profitable.

"IT Media's growing stable of properties make it strategically suited to the development of e-commerce and media over a variety of channels, putting it in a stronger position to develop a profitable business plan for on-line retail. By taking payment for the assets in IT Media shares PRG has retained a stake in FlyingPig as part of a group better suited to manage its future development."

IT Media's publications include NZ Rugby World, NZ Fishing World, Crème, Rip It Up and New Zealand Business Times. It also owns fire-engine.co.nz, toast.co.nz and thecook.co.nz.

The company's chairman, Tim Connell, says the FlyingPig.co.nz brand might appear online in search engines, directories and community and content sites.

"Offline, IT Media can create new magazine titles dedicated to key growth channels within FlyingPig, such as leveraging the current DVD database and creating a new title specifically for this niche market.

"These are exciting times for us as this deal creates a media organisation with significant online brand equity and offline reach."

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