RealTime IT News

MultiEmedia Adds to Growing Portfolio

Internet technology and application developer MultiEmedia.com is spreading its wings into the online marketing space, with the acquisition of local market research and related services provider Brands Online.

Under the deal, Brands Online will become a wholly owned subsidiary of MultiEmedia.com, said the latter's co-founder and chairman Adrian Ballintine. "In line with our strategy as a group to provide businesses with services based on technology using Internet-based protocols, Brands Online will provide MultiEmedia.com with access to a new sector that, from a global perspective, shows significant promise," he said.

Brands Online will maintain its independence within the MultiEmedia.com group in the wake of the purchase, with the company's staff and management continuing to operate from Brands Online's Melbourne base.

The one-year-old Brand Online provides consumer insights and similar research to help clients build their brand in the Internet space. It develops a community of consumers it leverages to provide market research and similar services to its clients. The company also offers interactive online brand promotions to suppliers of products and services.

Brands Online chief executive officer Joseph Ebbage said that the acquisition would allow Brands Online to continue its emphasis on sales and marketing services, and would be "drawing on the resources and capabilities of an established technology company" to deliver these services.

MultiEmedia.com has been an active Internet industry player of late, with the Brands Online acquisition following two purchases in February.

MultiEmedia.com started February by acquiring Internet banking solutions developer and online financial services provider Moby 6, for a purchase price that comprised the issue of 7.5 million ordinary shares in MultiEmedia.com and a grant of the same number of options exercisable within two years for 10 cents each.

Ballintine believed the acquisition would "greatly strengthen our involvement in the financial services sector, and will enable us to leverage our strategic position with the ANZ Banking Group, our largest shareholder."

The company followed this acquisition with the purchase of Internet 3D technology and applications developer e-Estate.net, in which it increased its stake from 30 per cent to 100 percent. This acquisition was motivated by MultiEmedia.com9s desire to enhance its Web site creation applications, "but also provide us with the opportunity to provide 3D capability to other We site creators," said Ballintine.

Like many of its online peers though, MultiEmedia.com has endured fairly erratic but generally falling stock prices since the Net stock crash last April. Today the company's share price on the Australian Stock Exchange reached a high of 65 cents following the Brands Online announcement, before settling on 53 cents at close of trading.