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Bartercard Moves on After Float Halt

Online trade exchange Bartercard has announced the multi-million dollar acquisition of its competitor, IBEX International Business Exchange, after the cancellation of its intended float on the Australian Stock Exchange earlier this week (see story).

Under the deal, Bartercard will receive an additional trade volume of more than AUS$ 50 million (US$ 30 million) a year, and take on IBEX's 2,500 national members, approximately 20 staff and IBEX offices around Australia.

Earlier this week, Bartercard withdrew from its planned AUS$ 20 million (US$ 12 million) Initial Public Offering (IPO) and float on the Australian Stock Exchange, citing uncertain market conditions, despite adequate support from its members and public investors.

Bartercard executive chairman, Wayne Sharpe said IBEX had proven experience in the property development and corporate trading markets, and would value-add to Bartercard's strength as a business to business (B2B) Trade Exchange.

"The multiplying benefits gained by our membership from larger corporate deals will be enormous," Sharpe said.

"Not only will we achieve a milestone in our company history, but this acquisition will provide an instant and significant uplift in trading and revenue," said Bartercard's managing director, Brian Hall.

IBEX founder and managing director, Barrie Devenport said the exchange has resited numerous acquisition offers from US-based Trade Exchanges in recent months.

"IBEX directors have been nervous at the overtures from the United States. To date, a number of American Exchanges have not been successful in Australia in the past 10 years, and in some cases, members of these attempted exchanges have lost significant sums of money," he said.