RealTime IT News

Bartercard Prepares for Trans-Tasman Growth

Online business-to-business (B2B) trading site Bartercard has announced plans to float 18.5 per cent of the company in a public share offering on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

On May 10, Bartercard will seek to raise approximately AUS$20 million (US12 million) through the offer of 16 million shares at the public offer price of AUS$1.25 (US$0.75) per share. The proceeds will be used to fund the company's expansion and the development of online trading in Australia and New Zealand.

Bartercard acts as an electronic computerised trading system that facilitates the barter exchange of goods and services between trading program members, which include more than 20,000 businesses in Australia and New Zealand.

Instead of using cash, members can trade using a currency known as Trade Dollars (T$), which are equivalent to $A to offer a measure of the value of transactions.

A Bartercard transaction uses authorisation vouchers (similar to those used by credit card companies) or via selected EFTPOS terminals, which are then debited or credited to their respective Bartercard member accounts. Bartercard monitors all member accounts, and provides a monthly statement, similar to a bank statement. This year alone Bartercard Ltd expects to process over 1.5 million business-to-business transactions.

Bartercard was the first trade exchange in Australia to both list on the ASX and gain exemption to accept a proportion of offer subscriptions in Bartercard Trade dollars ($T).

Following the completion of the offer, Bartercard Ltd will be 81.5 per cent owned by Bartercard International, which owns the intellectual property behind Bartercard's future online trading program and e-commerce initiatives.

Bartercard executive chairman Wayne Sharpe said the added capital would enable the company to further develop its online B2B capabilities.

"The development of our online initiatives will enhance our business-to-business trading solution, and we expect to see trade dollar turnover increase to almost AUS$500 million (US$300 million) this year, with projections to reach AUS$750 million (US$450 million) in 2001," said Sharpe.

Following Bartercard's cross-marketing agreement earlier this month (see story) with online trading mall 131Shop, 131 Shop shareholders will also receive a priority allocation of Bartercard shares at the offer price of AUS$1.25 (US$0.75) per share.