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PBL, ecorp Take 50 Percent Stake in Wizard

Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd (PBL) and ecorp announced this week invested $25 million to take a 50 percent stake in Wizard Mortgage Corp.

"Wizard currently has a high level of advertising and promotional commitment on PBL media, especially on the Nine Network," said Mark Bouris, Wizard's executive chairman.

"As part of our undertakings, Wizard has agreed to commit over the next few years further significant sums to the Nine Network and now also to ACP and ecorp businesses."

PBL and ecorp had both been planning an entry the financial services market, and decided it would be in both companies' best interests to make the acquisition together, according to Nick Falloon, PBL's CEO. The two businesses formed a jointly owned subsidiary for the purchase.

The companies hope to combine PBL's marketing strengths, ecorp's Internet distribution, and Wizard's customer base to provide a broader platform of financial services, he added.

ecorp expects the Internet will become an increasingly important distribution channel for Wizard, according to ecorp chairman Daniel Petre.



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