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Secondary Industry Buys Into WAP

Secondary industry firm Australian Technology Securities (ATY) will take a 51 per cent minimum share in wireless services provider dotWAP.com, with the option to acquire the entire business down the track.

ASX-listed activated carbons producer and marketer ATY has made a two-tiered offer to dotWAP shareholders, offering up to 33 of its shares for each dotWAP share, valuing these at $2 each.

The acquisition follows a trading halt ATY announced on Thursday, and has now asked the ASX to suspend its shares pending release of an Information Memorandum detailing terms of the transaction. ATY expects its shares to be re-quoted on the ASX in March in the wake of the deal.

According to ATY chairman Patrick Ryan, the company has been evaluating the opportunity dotWAP posed for some time, and intends to leverage dotWAPs network in Australia and "in some 20 other countries worldwide where existing similar networks are installed."

DotWAP, a US-incorporated company with offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Sweden and the US, develops and markets WAP content as well as mobile devices.

The company's flagship product is a non-GSM wireless device for 'always on' connectivity for Palm V PDAs and laptops. DotWAP maintains its network now reaches over 70 per cent of urban Australia.

dotWAP was established in 1999 as a joint venture between publicly-listed Australian telco Davnet and software development firm Email Escape. Davnet's recently departed founder and chairman Stephen Moignard is a major shareholder in dotWAP.

The wireless content developers original plan when it launched was to use Australia as a springboard to the rest of the world. The company planned to roll out its product and service offerings in other Asia Pacific countries including Singapore and Hong Kong, followed later by mainland China and India.

dotWAP reports to have $8 million in cash, net tangible assets of $15 million, with projected revenues of over $20 million to June 30 2002.