Kuala Lumpur, Dec 13 (Asia Pulse) - Asia Travel Network Sdn Bhd (ATN), a
Malaysian on-line reservation system provider, will restructure its organisation
and shareholding before seeking a listing on Nasdaq in the United States, said
its chief executive officer, Alex Kong.
The restructuring would involve the formation of a holding company abroad in
one or two months as a strategic move for ATN (asiatravelmart.com), an MSC-status
company, he said in an interview. Following the formation of the overseas
holding company, it would in turn own the current Malaysian entity which would
be turned into a research and development (R&D) centre.
The holding company would also channel the necessary funding for the
Malaysian operations. Kong said the holding company would become the vehicle for
ATN to seek a listing on Nasdaq, the exchange for hi-tech stocks, within the
second half of next year. Should the company succeed in its Nasdaq listing, ATN
would be the first Malaysian company to be listed on the exchange via "the
front door", he said. One MSC-status company, TechnoChannel Technologies
Sdn Bhd, which operates "MyWeb", got listed on Nasdaq in February this
year following a reverse takeover. TechnoChannel emerged as a major shareholder
of Asia Media Communications Ltd of United States following an execise involving
Asia Media acquiring 100 percent of TechnoChannel via the issuance of 85 million
Asia Media new common shares.
Asked about the location of the holding company, Kong said,"We are
analysing this now...there are a few places." Kong said he would remain as
one of the major shareholders in the holding company. However, he did not reveal
the exact portion of his shareholding. After raising RM13 million (US$3.42
million) in the second round of funding from four strategic investors, ATN is
now closing a US$20 million deal for the next round of funding where more global
and high profile investors would participate, Kong said.
ATN currently covers about 80 countries, more than 3,000 travel suppliers and
nearly 15,000 wholesale travel-products and services. It provides a platform for
travel buyers and sellers from around the world to trade their travel-related
products and services over a secured Internet connection.
Users can make travel reservations or book holiday packages 24 hours a day at
wholesale prices. Reflecting ATN's global profile, its system accepts 10
currencies for transactions including the US dollar, pound sterling, Singapore
dollar and Japanese yen. Kong said ATN has an average growth of 150 percent on a
month-to-month basis for its transactions. He said last month's transactions
totalled about RM1 million while this month's business was almost approaching
The leisure holiday market accounted for about 80 percent of ATN's
transactions, he said, adding that the on-line reservations segment was now
"picking-up". He said the booking trend has changed where 90 percent
of the reservations were made by individuals over the Internet compared with 90
percent by travel agents earlier this year.
On the company's financial performance, Kong said turnover had exceeded the
RM6 million it projected for this year while the forecast revenue of RM260
million for next year was likely to be achieved.