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E-commerce lures cash from Contact E-nergy

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Monday 4th September 2000

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Contact Energy is spending $2.5 million to grab a share of the business-to-business e-commerce market.

The electricity company is buying 30% of e://Volution, which it describes as New Zealand's largest and fastest growing on-line procurement company.

Contact boss, Paul Anthony says the stake fits his company's plans to provide innovative new products and services to its customers.

"Winners in the business-to-business market will be those that can build scale and market liquidity first. Contact can give a further boost to e://volution through its own procurement spend and by seeking ways to leverage the spending power of our customer base".

"Contact's investment in e://volution will also provide a cash injection that will enable the company to step up its growth rate and consolidate its market lead."

e://volution already boasts a number of business clients including Avis, DB Breweries, Sky TV, Ford and Southern Cross, as well as 20 suppliers.

Research has estimated that B2B e-commerce will be worth US$2.7 trillion in 2004, with e-marketplaces accounting for 53% of all online business-to-business trade within five years.

It's estimated online purchasing of such things as stationery and office supplies can produce cost savings of up to 30%.

e://volution is aiming for a 10% share of the New Zealand consumables e-procurement market and 5% of the equivalent Australian market within five years. Contact Energy will appoint two directors to e://volution's five-member Board.

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