SYDNEY, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Internet design group Spike Networks Ltd said on Tuedsay it had agreed to an web development and design joint venture with Hong Kong's Pacific Century CyberWorks Ltd. Spike said it will initially own 70 percent of the joint venture, with PCC having a two year option to increase its equity to 50 percent for A$31.2 million.
PCC will also acquire a five percent stake in Spike through a share placement at A$1.25 per share. Spike shares ended at A$1.40 on Monday.
The following statement was issued by Spike through the Australian Stock Exchange.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++ Spike Networks Limited ("Spike") announced today that it has reached agreement in principle with Hong Kong-listed Pacific Century CyberWorks Limited to form a joint venture to provide a comprehensive range of internet services with a particular emphasis on web development and design.
The venture will operate globally, building initially on Spike's operations in Japan and the Asia Pacific region.
The venture will expand into the Asia Pacific region combining Spike's existing activities with the capital and positioning of PCCW. The new venture will provide a full range of Internet services including web site development and management, intranet and extranet application development, network management and strategic consulting.
PCCW aims to be the pre-eminent broadband Internet services provider in Asia, and currently has a market capital valued at $US11.03 billion, based on issued share capital, and is the largest Internet company in Asia Pacific outside Japan. Spike, a global online media and services company, is among the leaders in web development and design in Japan, with corporate customers including Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan. Spike has positioned itself as a youth-oriented company, charting new territory in end-to-end strategic Internet services in Asia Pacific.
The agreement in principle is pending completion of due diligence and regulatory and shareholder approvals.
Spike will hold a 70 0nterest in the joint venture and PCCW will hold the remaining 30%. Spike will value its global services business at an agreed value of A$54.5 million and PCCW will value its contribution to the joint venture at an agreed value of A$23.3 million.
PCCW has been granted a two year option to increase its equity in the joint venture to 50 0.000000or a consideration of $A31.2 million.
PCCW will also acquire a 5 0nterest in Spike through a placement of 4,661,575 shares at a price of $1.25 per share and an option to acquire an additional 100f the share capital of Spike on a fully diluted basis at a strike price of $1.45 per share (which is equivalent to its issue price on IPO). That option is exercisable at any time within 12 months of the above allotment.
The agreement in principle also contemplates PCCW and Spike working together in relation to various strategic alliances including the promotion and/or distribution of SpikeRadio over PCCW's broadband network through the Asia Pacific region.
Spike will provide shareholders with full details of the proposed transaction well in advance of the extraordinary general meeting for Spike shareholders.
((Sydney newsroom 61-2 9373-1800)) .