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Online Commodity Auctions on the Block

Western Australian company Hunter Exploration is moving into online auctions, after acquiring 31 per cent of the Australasian arm of the NASDAQ-listed e-Auction Global Trading.

Hunter will invest AUS$1.5 million (US$990,000) in E-Auction Australasia (EAA). This capital will be used to develop the EAA business in Australia and New Zealand, with a view to floating the company on the Australian Stock Exchange in the next six to 18 months.

As part of the deal, Hunter will undergo a 1-for-2 capital consolidation and issue a prospectus for the issue of 25 million shares to raise up to AUS$2.5 million (US$1.6 million). This money will fund the investment in EAA and provide working capital.

The acquisition enables Hunter to build on the online auction model for "the business to business market or commodity auctions", said Hunter chairman John Cavill.

EAA plans to develop online livestock auctions in Australia and New Zealand, and chase online auction potential in other commodities like grains, fish, flowers, fruit and vegetables, vehicles and energy.

Cavill said that the initial focus though would be on forming joint ventures with local auction houses to speed the migration process from live to electronic auctions for commodities.