Friday, February 4, 2000
Culturecom takes travel services stake
Comic-book publisher Culturecom Holdings has acquired a 60 per cent interest in an on-line travel-booking system from New
World Services in a move aimed at bolstering earnings, according to sources.
The company also plans to buy the remaining 40 per cent interest in the portal before the end of this month.
GlobalRes was formerly a 60-40 joint venture between New World Services - the management and service arm of New World
Development - and travel agent Asiaworld Travel.
The portal is a business-to-business type of on-line worldwide hotel reservation and ticket booking system targeting travel
agents in North America.
Sources said Culturecom paid less than $20 million to buy out New World Services` 60 per cent interest in the portal as well
as the travel agent.
GlobalRes, which serves about 800 travel agents and is linked with more than 22,000 hotels, reported a net profit of about $3
million. Sources close to the company said Culturecom vice-chairman Chu Bong-foo was upgrading the system with a
Chinese version and business-to-consumer capability in order to expand its services to the Greater China region. The
upgraded system is expected to be launched by the end of this year.
Culturecom expects the new system will increase GlobalRes` client base from the more than 800 existing travel agents to
The expansion is expected to bring an estimated annual income of more than $70 million.
Culturecom`s shares rose 42.3 per cent, or 47 cents, to close at $1.58. The counter was heavily traded with 582.8 million
shares changing hands.
Its warrant also surged 56.7 per cent to last trade at $1.16.