RealTime IT News

LibertyOne Spreads into Asia

Australian Internet content, commerce and Web services provider LibertyOne went on a spending spree this week, acquiring stakes in three Asian Internet-based companies.

Friday it agreed to purchase 25 per cent of Chinese Books Cyberstore (CBC). Financial details surrounding the arrangement were not disclosed.

CBC is the largest online seller of Chinese-language books, music, video tapes, DVDs, VCDs and laser discs. The company is also considering other content and e-commerce opportunities including online auctions, lifestyle information and selling Chinese art and gifts.

LibertyOne CEO Warren Lee said CBC was an attractive investment because its business model reflected that of successful online entity Amazon.com, and showed signs of similar growth.

Earlier this week, LibertyOne announced investments in two Hong Kong-based companies. It has acquired a 75 per cent stake in Net Power, an Internet consulting and design business with largely government-based clientele. LibertyOne also took an 8.33 per cent stake in online property e-commerce and Web solutions firm HT Hypernet. This arrangement includes an option for the company increase its holdings to 51 per cent.

These Asian acquisitions are in addition to LibertyOne's Australian assets, that include Excite Asia Pacific, Internet consulting and development group Zivo, and digital audio music distributor Satellite Music Australia.

"We're grown a Web solutions business remarkably quickly over the last few months," Lee said of the acquisitions. "We're now identifying worthwhile e-commerce opportunities that will, among other benefits, offer synergies with the skills and capabilities of our Web solutions operations."