CK Hutchison Holdings Limited - Media Center > Press Releases
Press Releases
Related Topics
Press Releases

9 March 2000

Internet Capital Group and Hutchison Whampoa form two new companies
to tap tremendous B-2-B e-commerce potential in Asia

HONG KONG - Internet Capital Group (NASDAQ:ICGE), the leading business-to-business e-commerce company, and Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (Hutchison), a US$ 65 billion Hong Kong based multi-national conglomerate, today announced that they have joined forces to sharply accelerate the pace of B-2-B e-commerce in Asia.

Together, they will launch two businesses, ICG AsiaWorks, which will incubate, acquire and build e-commerce market makers and B-2-B infrastructure companies, and an e-procurement services joint venture that will become a leading e-commerce buying and selling portal for companies in the Asia region. Both of these companies will leverage the brand, visionary leadership, business networks, assets, and technology of Internet Capital Group (ICG) and Hutchison to encourage the growth of B-2-B e-commerce businesses. Both companies will be headquartered in Hong Kong.

"We believe there is enormous potential in Asia and we are honored to be partnering with Hutchison Whampoa to help Asian businesses tap into the world-wide power of the Internet," said Kenneth Fox, co-founder and managing director of ICG. "Together through the formation of our e-procurement services joint venture, we will create the leading portal for entrepreneurs and large corporations to buy and sell products and services globally, reducing their procurement costs and growing their revenues. In addition, the formation of ICG AsiaWorks will bring the knowledge and resources of ICG to Asian companies and provide a platform for our US and European based companies to expand to Asia."

According to Gartner Group, worldwide B-2-B e-commerce will experience explosive growth, totaling US$7.3 trillion by 2004. Approximately US$1 trillion will be generated in Asia.

"We are very excited about our new partnership with Internet Capital Group, the clear leader in the B-2-B Internet space in the United States," said Canning Fok, Hutchison Whampoa group managing director. "We believe ICG's success and impressive market capitalization of US$37 billion, is indicative of the tremendous potential of B-2-B e-commerce in Asia. With the powerful combination of Hutchison's extensive network and resources, and ICG's management and technical expertise, I am confident that we can repeat this success here in Asia.

ICG AsiaWorks

ICG, Hutchison, and Li Ka Shing Foundation Limited are acquiring a combined controlling stake in a listed company on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Harbour Ring International Holdings (HK: 715), and renaming it ICG AsiaWorks Limited. ICG will be the majority shareholder. Closing is conditional upon the approval of the transaction by the shareholders of Harbour Ring (if required by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange or the Securities and Futures Commission, the independent shareholders), listing approval from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the granting of a whitewash waiver from the Securities and Futures Commission, as well as certain other conditions.

ICG AsiaWorks will acquire and build leading Asian-based B-2-B market makers and infrastructure companies, such as digital exchanges, consulting firms, software companies, and outsourced service providers. In addition, ICG AsiaWorks will operate several business incubation centers in Hong Kong and Greater China that will serve as a platform for bringing Internet Capital Group's market makers and partner companies to Hong Kong and Greater China. The incubation centers will also start new Asian-based companies. ICG AsiaWorks will accelerate the development of these companies by providing strategy, technology and executive recruiting, in addition to the global operational expertise of ICG's executive team and 55 partner companies.

E -Procurement services company In addition to ICG AsiaWorks, ICG, Hutchison and Cheung Kong have signed an agreement to establish an e-procurement services company that will be the definitive neutral B-2-B buying and selling portal in Asia. Closing is expected in April, 2000. The founding partners plan to bring in additional large corporations into the joint venture, which initially will tap into the buying power of Hutchison, Cheung Kong and their network of companies, and the leading e-procurement know-how of ICG and its partner network.

"We are confident that this e-procurement services company will capture a large portion of the B-2-B e-commerce activities in the region, and believe that the company could some day be a candidate for a public offering," said Fox of ICG.

About Hutchison Whampoa Limited

Hutchison Whampoa Limited, with a current market capitalization of US$65 billion, is a Hong Kong-based conglomerate with origins dating back to the 1800s. Hutchison is part of the Li Ka-shing group of companies, which together represent 16% of the total market capitalization of the Hong Kong stock market. Hutchison's Internet related operations have been growing rapidly. The Company has teamed up with Global Crossing to further expand its global connectivity and to pursue fibre optic broadband network opportunities in the Greater China Region. Cooperation with NTT DoCoMo, which owns 19% of Hutchison's mobile communications businesses in Hong Kong, offers its customers advanced mobile Internet opportunities. Hutchison has recently entered into an alliance with Priceline.com to introduce the buyer-driven e-commerce system to Asia. It has also teamed up with DLJdirect to bring on-line investment services to the region. With over 80,000 employees worldwide, Hutchison operates five core businesses in 26 countries: ports and related services; telecommunications and Internet; property and hotel development and investments; retail, manufacturing and other services; and energy and infrastructure.

About Internet Capital Group

Internet Capital Group is an Internet company actively engaged in business-to-business e-commerce through a network of partner companies. It provides operational assistance, capital support, industry expertise, and a strategic network of business relationships intended to maximize the long-term market potential of more than 55 business-to-business e-commerce partner companies. Headquartered in Wayne, Pennsylvania, Internet Capital Group has offices in San Francisco, Boston, Seattle and London.

Statements made in this press release that state the Company's or management's intentions, beliefs, expectations, or predictions for the future are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, assumptions and uncertainties that could cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements. These risks, assumptions and uncertainties include: the ability to complete systems within currently estimated time frames and budgets; the ability to compete effectively in a rapidly evolving and price competitive marketplace; changes in the nature of telecommunications regulation in the United States and other countries; changes in business strategy; the successful integration of newly-acquired businesses;the impact of technological change; and other risks referenced from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. (This disclaimer clause applies to the United States only.)

- Ends -

For more information, please contact:

Asia
Laura Cheung

Hutchison Whampao Ltd
Tel: 852-2128 1289
Email: laurac@hwl.com.hk
Baxter Jolly
Fleishman-Hillard Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2111 3184
Email: jollyb@fleishman.com
Caroline Wong
Fleishman-Hillard Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2530 0203
Email: wongc@fleishman.com
United States
Sherri Wolf
ICG Investor Relations
Tel: 1-617-338 7171
Email: swolf@internetcapital.com
Mary Stubbs
Fleishman-Hillard
Tel: 1-415-356 1006
Email: stubbsm@fleishman.com