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Strathmore Strengthens


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Strathmore Strengthens Business-to-Business
e-Commerce Portfolio with $NZ 2.0 Million Investment in Soft Tech

Global Software Player Targets $US 3.2 Trillion North American
Construction Industry

Auckland – Monday, 10 April 2000 – Internet and technology investment company, Strathmore Group Limited (NZSE: SMR) today announced it will acquire a 16.67% interest in Soft Tech America, Inc, a rapidly growing business-to-business e-Commerce software company operating in the construction industry. Strathmore will invest $NZ 2.0 million to acquire its 16.67% interest through the issue of new shares in Soft Tech. It also has an Option, exercisable on or before 31 July 2000, to acquire a further 16.66% of Soft Tech for $NZ 3.0 million.

Originally founded in New Zealand in 1987, Soft Tech has offices in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The company provides costing and estimation modelling software for manufacturers and distributors of commercial aluminium, timber and plastic joinery products throughout the world. Soft Tech’s state of the art V6 software incorporates a fully functional e-Commerce capability that allows orders for both finished products and raw materials to be sent to suppliers via a business-to-business trade Web site. The company employs seventy staff worldwide and retains all software development activities in New Zealand.

“Soft Tech’s software has been rapidly accepted by a large number of manufacturers and distributors throughout the United States, Europe, and Australasia who are using technology to improve productivity and profitability on complex construction projects,” explains Strathmore’s Executive Chairman Phil Norman.



According to Norman, the trend for more and more construction companies to buy and sell materials online makes Soft Tech an attractive investment. “The company is already the leading supplier of software to the aluminium joinery manufacturing industry worldwide. It is particularly well positioned to capture business from existing and new customers as Soft Tech exploits the e-Commerce capabilities now included in its offerings. Online procurement is growing rapidly in the huge $US 3.2 trillion North American construction industry and Soft Tech is already well known as the best of breed supplier in its sector,” says Norman.

The company has had an office in the United States for several years and is generating profitable revenues from this market as well as those other markets in which it operates. “This is important as it provides a strong foundation for Soft Tech’s future growth and adds another profitable investment to Strathmore’s portfolio of investee companies,” says Norman.

John Ball, Founding Director of Soft Tech, says there are an increasing number of manufacturers as well as distributors wanting to order materials directly from suppliers using online procurement systems and the company’s V6 software will be a key enabler in making this happen. “V6 with its intelligent object technology has the potential to be a major force in the virtual supply chain within the construction industry,” says Ball. “The association with Strathmore, and in particular access to their international contact network, will accelerate our growth. We are looking forward to maximising the opportunities in our existing markets and with Strathmore’s help, entering new, related markets.”

About Strathmore Group Limited

Strathmore Group Limited is a technology investment company with approximately $NZ 18 million of shareholders’ funds. It targets Internet, e-Commerce and information technology companies with potential to deliver accelerated growth in shareholder value by competing in global markets. It provides strategic advice, capital support, operational assistance, industry expertise and a network of relationships to assist technology companies to migrate internally.

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