Spike networks, Pacific Century plot joint venture

Spike Networks and Hong Kong's Pacific Century CyberWorks have agreed to form a joint venture that will offer a range of Internet services, including those to help businesses develop and manage Web sites.

The venture initially will build on Spike's existing operations in Australia and Japan, although the companies hope eventually to expand throughout Asia Pacific and beyond, the company said.

The venture, which has yet to be named, will offer services including Web site development and management, intranet and extranet application development, network management and strategic consulting.

Spike will hold a 70 per cent interest in the venture, while Pacific Century CyberWorks (PCCW) will hold 30 per cent. PCCW has a two-year option to increase its equity in the venture to 50 per cent. The agreement in principle is pending regulatory and shareholder approvals and other considerations, Spike officials said in the statement.

PCCW, the technology arm of Hong Kong's Pacific Century Group, claims to be the largest Internet company in Asia Pacific outside Japan. Meanwhile Spike has offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Los Angeles and Tokyo, and employs 195 personnel. Its corporate customers include Toyota Motor in Japan.

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