Shareholders sigh in relief at ERG's good news week

West Australian smart card specialist ERG has settled its shareholders' nerves after setting them on edge last week with the announcement that it had bought out Motorola's share of the ERG Motorola Alliance for a cool $A46 million in cash, followed by Motorola's announcement that it would sell all 82.6 million shares it owned in ERG.

The good news came when ERG was able to announce on Monday that Credit Suisse First Boston had managed to sell Motorola's shares "to a range of investors" at $A1.85 per share. The company's shares jumped to $A2.02 on the news.

More good news was in store when ERG announced that it had won a contract to expand its Octopus smart card ticketing system across a new extension of Kowloon-Cantoon Railway Corporation's Light Rail Network in Hong Kong. The new contract is valued at $A11 million.

Glyn Denison, ERG's director of new business development, said the contract extension calls on ERG to design, supply and integrate its smart card system hardware and software across the KCRC Light Rail service, which is now being constructed. The construction is part of KCRC West Rail project, which is described as Hong Kong's largest infrastructure project and which is expected to service 340,000 passengers a day when it opens in 2003.

"The Hong Kong system remains our flagship reference site and this contract award evidences the continued customer support of the system," Denison said.

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