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E-Business Briefs

Friday 7th April 2000

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IT Capital and Ernst & Young have announced a strategic alliance worth $6 million with a two-prong aim of bringing US e-business techniques to local companies and funding local ventures. The pair have not announced what form their alliance will take but Ernst & Young has committed $3 million worth of "man hours," and IT Capital $3 million seed funding. Ernst & Young partner Wayne Jackson said the initial input would last at least two years. IT Capital managing director Keith Phillips said the venture would approach existing revenue-generating companies.

Mining company Heritage Gold's 55.3% owned company E-cademy Holdings is holding a special meeting today for shareholders to approve the acquisition of E-cademy. E-cademy owns the intellectual property rights to an online interactive learning program developed for the internet. If shareholders approve the acquisition Heritage Gold will join a number of other utility stocks to diversify into e-commerce. It will hang on to its interests in mining.

The 0867 debacle continued this week as WorldXchange, travel.co.nz and other companies rallied behind free internet service provider i4free and its battle against Telecom's connection charges. Telecom has had to reconnect thousands of customers it disconnected after assuming they were associated with i4free. A court injunction earlier in the week ruled Telecom must restore the lines it disconnected.

Deutsche Bank, Salomon Smith Barney, Warburg Dillon Read and Westpac Banking Corporation have created a new entity to provide internet-based trading and research for fixed income securities. The yieldbroker.com will offer online fixed income trading as an alternative to the telephone ordering system for products such as government bonds.

Computer distribution company Renaissance has chosen Gentran e-business software to complete its online e-commerce platform and integrate computer systems. Sterling Commerce's Gentran software is sold locally by Ecomnz (Electronic Commerce New Zealand). Renaissance said the purchase would speed up Renaissance's billing and payment cycles and lower internal costs.

Telstra Saturn has bought ISP Paradise Net. Paradise Net, with 33,000 subscribers around the country, will become part of Telstra Saturn once the merger of Saturn Communications and Telstra New Zealand is complete.

Data networking company Cisco Systems and mobile phone manufacturer Nokia have agreed to a global alliance to accelerate the development of mobile e-business. The two companies plan to sell systems to mobile phone operators seeking to add internet capabilities to their services and to fixed wire operators wanting to move into mobile networking. The alliance has begun working on wireless application protocol (WAP) technologies.

EstarOnline chief executive Matthew Darby said the company's offer of 16 million shares at 60c each had been inundated with replies and the investment statement had been reprinted to a total of 9000 copies. EstarOnline's offering last year to list on the secondary board closed early, oversubscribed. Mr Darby said the company was investigating other revenue streams including licensing its back-end system or joint venturing in e-commerce sites.

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