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asiacontent Secures Tricast With $20 Million

asiacontent.com Ltd (ACC) has secured all shares of Tricast BVI Limited with a US$20 million private placement.

The combination of ACC and Tricast brings together a solid pedigree of investors. These include AsiaTech Ventures, GE Equity, Hambrecht & Quist Asia Pacific, Intel Pacific Inc., TDF Management of Singapore, Viacom Inc., and a syndicate of private investors led by William R. Hambrecht, co-founder of Hambrecht & Quist.

Established in May, ACC aims to take over Tricast's role of bringing U.S. brands to the Asian Internet markets. Sources say that the move is essentially a re-branding and restructuring of Tricast with the inclusion of some new investors.

Commenting on the move, Christopher Justice, president and CEO of asiacontent.com, said that the company was committed to the Tricast and ACC business model of working as the Asian operating partner for leading U.S. Internet brands wanting to extend their business into Asia.

ACC hopes to use the new capital to build on Tricast's portfolio of U.S. brands including CNET Asia, MTV Asia Online and E! Online, published in Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

"We are planning an expansion into China, Malaysia, India and Korea. In addition to Tricast's content business, we can now expand in the areas of ad service and e-commerce," added ACC's CFO, Deepak Desai.

It is widely rumored that ACC has acquired the Asian license for Internet advertising giant DoubleClick.

According to some critics, ACC's business model of gathering U.S. brands, both in the content and service categories, creates cross-categorical conflicts that will make it difficult for the company to do business with Asian Internet companies.