Australian Net services company, e-com closes IPO a day early

Sydney, Dec 10 (Asia Pulse) - Australian Internet services provider e.COMGlobal Ltd said its initial public offer (IPO)- totaling $A7 million ($US4.

Sydney, Dec 10 (Asia Pulse) - Australian Internet services provider e.COM Global Ltd said its initial public offer (IPO)- totaling $A7 million ($US4.57 million) - has closed a day early because of heavy over-subscription.

Under the IPO, e.COM offered 16 million shares to the public at 25 cents each, to raise $A4 million ($US2.61 million), while an additional 12 million shares - totalling $A3 million ($US1.96 million) - will be accepted as oversubscriptions.

All shares were offered as a priority allocation to Min-Tech 8 shareholders as the company provided $A1 million ($US653.2 thousand) seed capital to e.COM earlier this year. "We could have closed several days ago but demand has been overwhelming," e.COM chief executive officer Alex Koszo said.

"The fact that we are an enhanced Internet services provider has obviously caught the attention of the investment community." E.com added that it expects that its shares will commence trading on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) on December 17 in line with its prospectus.

The company plans to use the A$7 million raised by the offer to fund a "strategy to become a significant regional Internet/Converging Communications player", e.COM said in a statement. The company has already established pre-IPO marketing alliances with nineMSN, LookSmart, ZD Net, and MYOB, it said. E.COM holds the exclusive rights for the JFAX unified messaging network in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. JFAX is a convergent communications system which allows a person's e-mail box to act as a single repository for all voice, fax and e-mail messages.

International research group International Data Corporation has projected that around 14 million unified messaging mailboxes will be in operation by 2003 - generating revenue of $US5.36 billion ($A8.21 billion) per year. The Australian market is estimated to have around 400,000 users by 2002, operating in a regional market worth $A96 million ($US62.71 million) a year.