RealTime IT News

Spike, Pacific Century Form Asia Joint Venture

Spike Networks Ltd. and Pacific Century CyberWorks Ltd. Tuesday signed a deal to tackle the Asia Pacific market.

The joint venture will offer Web site development, management, intranet application, network management and consulting services throughout the region. The venture will initially operated out of Spike's Tokyo office, with another branch scheduled to open in Osaka in February.

Spike will control the majority 70 percent of the venture, with PCCW holding the remaining 30 percent. PCCW will kick in AU$23.3 million to the venture, and may increase its stake to 50 percent over the next two years for a consideration of A$31.2 million. It will also take a 5 percent stake in Spike with the option to increase its holding to 10 percent.

The companies will use PCCW's name and capital in its pursuits. PCCW expects the deal to play into its goal of becoming a pan-Asian broadband ISP.

Spike and PCCW may also bring SpikeRadio into the deal, and the two are discussing the possibility of broadcasting the service over PCCW's broadband network in the region.

Pacific Century Group was established in October 1993 through the sale of pan-Asian TV network STAR TV to News Corp. Richard Li used the $950.5 million valuation to create PCCW, which is divided into Pacific Convergence Corp. (PCC), CyberWorksVentures and the Cyber-Port project.

When the PCC and PCCW units merged in January of this year, Intel Corp. (INTC) effectively transferred its 40 percent PCC JV stake to a 13 percent holding in PCCW. The chipmaker also poured an additional $50 million in the company.

PCCW itself recently acquired 23 percent of U.S. cable broadband player SoftNet Systems Inc. (SOFN).