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Aussies buy Biolab from Tiongs

By Christine Nikiel

Friday 4th April 2003

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Australian-listed Alesco Corporation is to buy Biolab, part of Salmond Smith Biolab and owned by one of Malaysia's richest families, for $53 million.

Through New Zealand manager Thomas Song, the Tiong family has been selling down divisions of SSB since its takeover in 1995 after the company had delisted.

Biolab is Australasia's biggest supplier and distributor of scientific instruments and goods but became a victim of the tech wreck.

Its e-commerce arm, an online marketplace called OneZone, collapsed in 2001 because of slow user uptake.

Another factor was its failure to secured any third-party equity.

SSB was a sharemarket favourite in the early 1990's when it bought into salmon farming but sorry performances from its fishing quotas ended in the Tiong takeover and the sale of all fishing assets.

Alesco will add Biolab to its building products, earthmoving tyres and automotive parts divisions.

The Alesco-SSB Overseas Investment Commission decision was the second biggest sale in February.

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