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Paynter Corp votes to become E-Force

Friday 25th February 2000

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By Chris Hutching

Paynter Timber chairman Richmond Paynter this week handed over the company's strategic direction to the senior executives of speculative internet marketing company E-Force.

The back-door listing values E-Force and its intellectual capital at $250,000 in a cashless share scrip deal. A pending renounceable rights issue aims to raise $1.1 million and much of the money will be used for a marketing campaign aimed at encouraging New Zealanders to use the goods and services offered by E-Force on the internet soon.

Mr Paynter will not entirely fade from the scene. He remains chairman and recently slightly increased his holding in the company to about 15%, which was fortuitous because the share price of Paynter Timber has soared as high as 47c from recent levels of around 12c.

Another executive director, Don MacLachlan, left the special shareholders' meeting mid-week satisfied with his purchase of beech-processing Lindsay & Dixon and West Coast Sawmills.

Over the past 10 years Mr MacLachlan has built up expertise in timber processing and marketing and has also gleaned considerable experience in negotiating with the government and Maori landowners for the compensation packages that have featured largely in Paynter's balance sheet.

The shareholders' meeting was also an opportunity for E-Force managing director, Mark Fulton, to outline the company's plans to be on-line soon. Among the first products available will be discount book-purchasing opportunities and a power supply switching service for which E-Force will receive commissions from the power retailers involved. Mr Fulton said just 2% of that market would generate revenue of more than $1 million.

E-Force's American director and internet expert Guy Cook gave a well-rehearsed presentation about his involvement with internet company Qwest Communications, which he said had "profitable revenues of $4 billion" and market capitalisation of $37 billion.

But long-time shareholders of Paynter Timber were clearly unimpressed with what they called "pie in the sky" talk of the billions of dollars that might rain down on the company from its new electronic activities.

One of them muttered at length to those around him that he bought his shares at $3.40 nearly 10 years ago and a recovery to 47c left him a long way out of pocket. He expressed disgust at the performance of Paynter directors in recent years.

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