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Hutchison retail arm acquires Hong Kong's Tender

The first telephone tender business in Asia, utilizing 1 million catalogues

(Hong Kong 17 April 2000) Hutchison Whampoa Limited announced today that the Groups' retail division, A.S. Watson (ASW), has acquired a majority stake of the issued share capital of Hong Kong's Tender Limited (HK Tender).

HK Tender, an innovative telephone tender business, started in January 2000 and is based on the circulation of approximately one million monthly catalogues containing a wide range of products.

The main appeal of this tender is as much a game as well as a deal. Already this idea has proved extremely successful & profitable in several countries outside of Asia. HK Tender is planning to extend the concept to other countries in the region.

The catalogue tender business is also supplemented by a website (www.hktender.com.hk) , which will allow internet bidding for the catalogue products, and other e-commerce activities such as weekly open auctions.

The catalogues and web-site provide full information on the products and also the company's highly trained customer service team can answer any related enquiries. Hence HK Tender aims to assist the consumers of Hong Kong in their purchasing decisions whether or not they decide to bid.

The next tender will commence on 28 April.

Commenting on the acquisition, Mr Ian Wade, Group Managing Director of ASW, said, "Our Group is very excited to be able to bring this new revolutionary business concept to Asia, as it gives the retail customer an added thrill of winning a game. It is also a natural extension to our retail businesses, providing a new sales channel. We plan to increase the circulation of the catalogue and anticipate Hong Kong's Tender will gain rapid acceptance and popularity in the territory and the rest of Asia."

Mr. Haim Dvir, Managing Director of Hong Kong's Tender, said, "We are delighted to welcome Hutchison Whampoa as our majority shareholder and we believe they can add value to our business through their strong brand, vast retail experience, extensive supplier base and large number of retail outlets in the region. "

"Therefore with the combination of one million catalogues, an informative web-site, strong customer service and the backing of one of the largest retailers in Asia we have all the ingredients necessary to be very successful. We expect to further strengthen our presence in Hong Kong and provide an even wider range of products to our bidders. Hutchison has a strong presence in the Internet and e-commerce arena and this will also boost the planned expansion of our website activities. " he added.

ASW is the wholly owned retailing and manufacturing division of the Hutchison Whampoa Group and operates more than 820 stores in Asia.

Ends

Notes to editors: Please see attached backgrounder on Hong Kong's Tender Limited

For further information, please contact:

Hutchison Whampoa Limited
Laura Cheung
General Manager - Group Corporate Affairs
Tel: (852) 2128 1235
Fax: (852) 2128 1766
Pager: (852) 7318 4778
email: laurac@hwl.com.hk

A.S. Watson
Ian Wade
Group Managing Director
Tel: (852) 2606 8833
Fax: (852) 2695 3664

Hong Kong's Tender Limited
Haim Dvir
Managing Director
Tel: (852) 2111 2100
Fax: (852) 2722 6915
Mobile: (852) 9188 0240

HONG KONG'S TENDER LIMITED

Backgrounder

  • Private Tender method started in Israel in 1995; issued 61 monthly catalogues to date; turnover of monthly catalogue is averaging US$15 million
  • Hong Kong's Tender has "rights" to operate in Asia. Current catalogue contains electrical goods, health products, cars and watches and is inserted in selected local newspapers. The company also has a direct mailing list.
  • In each monthly catalogue, approximately 100 products are offered for the members of the public to bid for.
  • The retail price and the minimum bid amount are displayed in the catalogue
  • Bidders can make up to three bids per item and a nominal bidding fee is charged per bid
  • The highest bidder "wins" the product, almost always at a cost below the market retail price.
  • Bidding continues for 10 days and the winning bid reference numbers are published in selected newspapers and on the website
  • Currently, bids are placed by telephone through a call centre, a state-of-the-art facility linked directly to the highly advanced and expandable Tender software program specially developed for the National Tender.
  • The HK Tender website will soon offer :

      - open auctions (i.e. the highest bid price is shown)
      - tender bidding
      - information on products
      - other e-tail services