Strategic partnerships way to go for e-comm: St George

St George Bank's strategic partnership with online financial information provider Bourse Data is consistent with its plans to capitalise on the e-commerce market where opportunities may dry up as soon as mid-year.

Yesterday's announcement that St George is acquiring a 40 per cent equity stake in Bourse Data is the first of many similar e-commerce strategic partnerships and investments expected over the next six months, said Mike Daly, chief general manager, St George strategy and Internet.

"We took the view eight months ago that Internet and e-commerce is really all about strategic partnerships - with technology companies, media companies, distribution networks, telcos and so on," Daly said.

"What we believe will happen is by the middle of this year most strategic partnerships will be locked away.

"And ... to a certain extent there will be almost incestuous relationships - you'll see serious overlaps," he said.

Under the terms of the deal, St George will initially acquire 4,455,000 shares from Bourse Data for $10.1 million. St George will also be granted options over 42.7 million shares. The options have a strike price of $2.20 and can be exercised until December 3, 2002.

Daly said St George would continue to unveil its e-commerce strategy over the next six months, with a clearer picture expected at its half-year financial briefing.

* For full story please see Computerworld 24/1/00

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