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Holliday Group Acquired By Itouch Plc

Business as usual for the Holliday Group while iTouch extends customer service with innovative mobile office solutions

The Holliday Group, one of the worlds top Palm application developers, is pleased to announce that it has been acquired 100% by iTouch, the London listed provider of mobile information, commerce and corporate solution products. The purchase provides ‘great opportunities’ for the team at Hollidays and gives iTouch a unique edge in the global mobile market.

The acquisition means that iTouch is now able to offer development, implementation and support of innovative and cost effective mobile office solutions for business, corporate and network customers alike.

“Details of the acquisition are intricate and were released by iTouch to the London Stock Exchange on Friday,” says Phil Holliday, Managing Director of the Holliday Group. “Essentially, an initial purchase consideration is being settled in a 50/50 ratio of cash and shares. The remainder will be based upon a three-year earn-out provision subject to the achievement of agreed revenue and EBITDA targets. It is an attractive offer that will provide the opportunity for Hollidays to expand into the global arena.”

“Most importantly,” says Phil Holliday, “we want to assure everyone that it will be business as usual. The management team at Hollidays is still at the helm and we look forward to continued business relations with all our valued customers.”

"The acquisition enhances the rapidly growing corporate side of iTouch by bringing experience in Mobile Office solutions, GPRS technology, and development across multiple network technologies – GSM, CDPD and CDMA,” said Ivan Fallon, iTouch chairman. “The addition of Holliday enables iTouch to develop, implement and support full end-to-end mobile office solutions for business, corporate and network customers."

“As soon as we met them, we recognised the enormous business potential Holliday’s expertise would bring to iTouch,” said Wayne Pitout, iTouch joint managing director. “They are regarded as the leading mobile development house for advanced mobile applications in the Asia Pacific region, with over 40 installed applications, most of which operate on Palm handheld devices.”

“The trend towards mobile computing solutions for the mobile workforce is increasing and we want to capture as much of the mobile market as possible. We are therefore very pleased that Hollidays accepted our offer, “ he continued.

The acquisition will:
 add to iTouch’s core product range by launching iTouch into corporate mobile office solutions with over 40 customised Palm mobile office products;
 provide to iTouch an extension of its skills and product offerings across global markets;
 bring to iTouch additional experience in CDMA and CDPD mobile technologies;
 provide an additional world class software development team strategically located in Christchurch, New Zealand, leveraging access to one of the world’s first national operating GPRS networks and benefiting from New Zealand’s low cost structure.

Phil Holliday added, “The global business roll out through the iTouch footprint in six countries not only gives our offering the geographical reach we have been looking for, but we will also be able to expand our product range faster than through organic growth. We now have the support and internal infrastructure necessary to effectively grow the business internationally."

Holliday’s mobile wireless business solutions are already undergoing GPRS network trials in New Zealand; these will be rolled out in the UK from January 2001, giving iTouch a unique, global footprint for mobile office solutions.

As part of the agreement, Hollidays is actively recruiting new staff both here and in the UK. The first objective for Hollidays is the opening of a new office in London, UK.


About iTouch

iTouch UK provides information and commerce to mobile consumers and mobile solutions to corporate clients. iTouch’s goal is to become a major international provider of value added services to mobile customers. By expanding its range of mobile services, iTouch are capitalising on the increasing penetration of mobile devices for personal and corporate use, and the convergence of mobile, Internet and other multimedia technologies.

iTouch mobile services to consumers comprise the provision of content and commerce services. iTouch’s corporate services allow corporate clients to communicate with their mobile customers and employees on an individual or group basis. Services are delivered through multiple delivery mediums, which currently comprise IVR, SMS, and WAP.


About Holliday Group

The Holliday Group is the largest Palm application provider in Australasia and one of the top 100 Palm application developers in the world. They are at the forefront of the mobile wireless technology industry and excel in the provision of innovative mobile communication solutions on the Palm computing platform. Holliday Group is also one of the few companies that deliver WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) Applications in the Asia Pacific region.

From its head office in Christchurch New Zealand, the company develops a wide range of custom software solutions that streamlines time-to-market production and minimises administrative costs. The Holliday Group’s expertise spans development of custom made Microsoft OS desktop applications, Internet Web authorising, man-machine interfaces to back office systems, communications and remote control systems.

With expertise in the development of mobile workforce systems, the Holliday Group has extended their product offering to include their own Jade-built communication server that links back-end systems to the mobile environment. The HGL Communications server introduces a new level of capability for wireless hand held systems and is the product that won the company highly commended honours for the Hi Tech 2000 Software Excellence Award.


- Ends -


For further information please contact:


iTouch
Tel: 00 44 20 7005 3400
Ivan Fallon, Chairman
Web: www.itouch.co.uk


Buchanan Communications
Tel: 00 44 20 7466 5000
Richard Oldworth
Jeremy Garcia


Holliday Group Ltd
Tel: 03 365 4120
Phil Holliday
Managing Director
Email: philh@holliday.co.nz
Web: www.holliday.co.nz


Communicate IT Ltd
Tel: 03 314 4606
Shelley Grell
PR Director
Email: communicateit@xtra.co.nz

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