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C&W HKT SecureNet cements expansion plans

In recognition of this strategic relationship, Pacific Century CyberWorks Limited ('PCCW') [SEHK1186.HK], which is currently in the process of merging with CWHKT, will acquire a 5% stake in SecureNet
Written by Joe Rebeiro, Contributor
By Brills Rebeiro

SYDNEY/HONG KONG, 10 July 2000 -- SecureNet Limited [SNX.AX] today announced the regional expansion of its e-commerce joint venture with Cable & Wireless Hong Kong Telecom Limited ('CWHKT') [SEHK: 0008], CWHKT SecureNet.

In recognition of this strategic relationship, Pacific Century CyberWorks Limited ('PCCW') [SEHK1186.HK], which is currently in the process of merging with CWHKT, will acquire a 5% stake in SecureNet, with options for a further 10%.

The CWHKT SecureNet joint venture is focussed on delivering e-commerce solutions, centred around and facilitated by SecureNet smart cards and other e-commerce and internet security products.

PCCW's subsequent merger with CWHKT, will make it the third largest internet company world-wide as measured by market capitalisation. SecureNet is a recognised and leading security specialist that has focussed its growth to date in the Asia Pacific.

Mr. Geoffrey Ross, Managing Director, SecureNet, and CEO of the joint venture said the strong reach of PCCW in the region will allow SecureNet to rapidly accelerate its expansion into the Pan Asian region, through direct involvement in regional e-commerce initiatives.

"The selection of SecureNet by Asia's largest internet operator to provide their security platform and expertise for e-commerce security in this region represents a significant building block in our expansion plans. With PCCW we will now expand into Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Macau and India and enhance our offering in mainland China," Mr Ross added.

The expanded joint venture will provide clients of the three companies the following benefits:

1. Ability to more effectively implement regional e-commerce initiatives by utilising core SecureNet trust infrastructure provided via the IP Backbone Company, PCCW's proposed pan-Asian IP infrastructure joint venture with Telstra.

2. Effective delivery of "e-commerce dial tone" to facilitate and support regional business-to-consumer implementations utilising the security platform integrated in the IP Backbone Company.

3. Increased strength in the China market, through the combination of SecureNet's current Chinese joint venture and PCCW's client and business infrastructure.

4. In country access to all SecureNet Trust Centre Services and support

The second initiative involves PCCW agreeing to acquire a 5% holding (based on the fully diluted capital) in SecureNet.

It has agreed to pay $7.89 per share for 4,061,777 ordinary shares, which will raise additional funding for SecureNet of approximately A$32 million. The share issue price reflects the weighted average closing price of SecureNet shares in the five trading days on ASX prior to 27 June 2000, the date on which the parties agreed on the issue price of the shares.

In addition to the issue of the shares, SecureNet has also agreed to issue options for PCCW to acquire a further 9,557,123 ordinary shares, which if exercised, would result in PCCW's equity investment in SecureNet equalling approximately 15% of SecureNet's fully diluted capital (based on its current capital structure.) The exercise price of the options is $10.66, a 35% premium to the share issue price. The options must be exercised within 2 years of issue.

The issue of the shares and options is subject to approval by the shareholders of SecureNet and PCCW and completion of a formal subscription agreement.

Mr Richard Li, Chairman of PCCW, said: "Expanding the joint venture enables CWHKT-SecureNet to capture e-commerce opportunities across Asia, and PCCW's direct investment into SecureNet reflects PCCW's awareness of the growing requirement for security as well as its long term commitment to the e-commerce market.

Mr Greatorex said the SecureNet Board is delighted at the opportunity to cement and build on an already vigorous partnership. He says it will bring strong resources and potential market growth from existing e-commerce infrastructure in an area where SecureNet is already a key trust service provider.

About SecureNet Limited
SecureNet's key business is supplying data security solutions to corporate and government organisations, including the banking and finance sectors.

SecureNet specialises in the development, design and installation of complete security solutions, addressing the Internet, remote banking, VPN and data-critical applications. It is an industry specialist in smartcard, PKI, firewalls, secure email, secure payments and security consultancy. It also provides consultancy and custom design and solution services for a wide range of IT applications.

About Pacific Century CyberWorks
Pacific Century CyberWorks Limited is the technology flagship of Pacific Century Group, which was founded in 1993.

Through investments in more than 50 content, technology and e-commerce providers, PCCW is creating a one-stop-shop for companies to extend their businesses onto the web and to foster rapid growth across the larger Internet economy.

PCCW's NOW (Network of the World) is an Internet and digital TV-content service, delivering original TV programming fully synchronised with multimedia content available on the Internet.

About Cable & Wireless Hong Kong Telecom
Cable & Wireless HKT is Hong Kong's major full-service communications provider, marketing a full array of quality voice and data telecommunications services backed by a state-of-the-art, fully digital fibre-optic network.

Services include basic telephony; Interactive TV (iTV); international calls; Internet access; mobile telephony; multimedia services; satellite links; specialised fax and data products; telecommunications equipment and services; teleservices, including customised solutions; and value-added services.

Cable & Wireless HKT operates 20 satellite antennae from two earth stations on the south side of Hong Kong Island. Together, these comprise the largest teleport in Asia, and combine with the Pacific and Indian Ocean satellite systems to cover two-thirds of the earth's surface. Nine international fibre-optic cables - 7 submarine and 2 overland - link Hong Kong to other major financial and commercial centres worldwide.

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