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Share offer in aggressive investment fund

By Ben Dutton

Monday 6th November 2000

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Widespread Portfolios Limited, a company that invests and trades in a range of local and overseas listed shares, has launched an IPO.

The offer is for up to 1,000,000 shares at an issue price of 50 cents per share. Shares will be traded on the Unlisted Securities Market, a board that has gained popularity over the past year with high-profile companies like A2 Corporation and Blis Technologies listing on it.

The purpose of the share issue is to raise capital for the company and to increase the number of shareholders in order to enhance liquidity. The funds raised will be added to the general pool of investment funds available to the company which says it has no borrowing's.

Widespread Portfolios (WPL) describes its strategy as "aggressive and inherently risky" because a large proportion of the portfolio is invested in "high growth potential" second line stocks, and only a small range of stocks is held at any one time.

WPL's previous investments include holdings in IT Capital, Heritage Gold, Cape Range Wireless, Telemedia Networks and Olympus Pacific. Its current main investments include minerals, technology and shareholdings in two listed shell companies.

Chris Castle, a director of Nevay Holdings Ltd which manages WPL, decides which investments WPL proceeds with. Mr Castle has had considerable past experience in the New Zealand corporate world.

From 1978 to 1983, he was an investment manager for Brierley Investments, reporting directly to Sir Ron Brierley. He also founded the failed Charter Corporation and was the Chairman of Regina Confections Ltd. More recently he has worked as an Associate Director of KPMG's Financial Management Unit and he currently undertakes corporate finance related consulting.

WPL was established in 1989 and the directors have calculated that the capital growth in the asset backing of an investment made in the company for the 11 year period since the company's inception is an average of 21.05% per annum.

Of course, WPL's past performance does not mean the company will achieve the same returns in the future. It is suited to investors with an appetite for risk.

The share issue closes on December 20th, unless fully subscribed by an earlier date.

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