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VTL Largest Independent Vending Company in Aus

Soche Acquisition Makes VTL Largest Independent Vending Company in Australia


AUCKLAND, 31 August 2001 – Smart-vending company Vending Technologies Limited (NZSE: VTL) today announced it has signed an agreement to purchase the business interests of Soche Pty Ltd.

The acquisition will be funded with the proceeds of a 1 for 10 rights issue, details of which were also announced today.

Soche is Australia’s largest independent vending company. It owns and operates brand-independent food, drink and coffee machines in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Soche’s vending contracts with many leading Australian companies, including Ford, Macquarie Bank, National Australia Bank, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Vodafone, will significantly increase VTL’s presence and client base in Australia.

Under the agreement VTL acquires the Soche name, signage and business assets in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. VTL will also retain Soche’s profitable engineering division, the largest independent group of vending engineers in Australasia, which carries out contracted services for Soche and other leading brand vending companies.

VTL acquired Soche under its four-stage acquisition growth strategy. The Company will purchase Australasian food and drink vending businesses, install its technology into the machines it acquires, implement our FMCG partnership programme and then franchise machines to small scale third party operators under its VendSmart programme.

“We view Soche as a platform business which we can enhance by applying our smart software and business models,” says VTL Chairman, Dr Richard Janes. “We will retain the Soche name and the assets, progressively refurbish the machines with SmartVend software and use it as a springboard to launch and rollout the VendSmart franchising programme into Australia.”

In addition to the immediate expanded Australian business base, the Soche purchase also gives VTL access to a team of experienced Australian vending executives.

VTL now has 18 months experience in the Australian market with offices and sales teams in Melbourne and Brisbane. To ensure that VTL is able to rapidly enhance the value of the Soche acquisition by structuring its sites into the VendSmart programme, Executive Director John Hotchin has undertaken to spend time in Australia directing its integration.

The Soche acquisition creates several other vending opportunities in the form of exclusive agencies for the Australasian market on behalf of a number of international vending machine manufacturers, a coffee vending and machine leasing programme, all of which VTL will review with the intent of extending them into its other operations.

The acquisition is VTL’s second since listing and is in line with the strategy it outlined to the market.

“We have told our shareholders that as part of our growth strategy we are looking to acquire well-qualified, financially sound vending businesses throughout Australasia. Soche met those criteria,” said Dr Janes. “The Board is also satisfied that Soche can be properly integrated into our operation, will add value to the Company immediately and grow that value over time, making a positive contribution to earnings per share both in the short and in the long term.”

About Vending Technologies Limited

Vending Technologies Limited supplies and operates electronically enhanced food and beverage vending machines throughout Australasia. Established in 1997, the company manufactures, sells, maintains and services vending machines and franchises branded electronic vending businesses under its VendSmart programme.

The company has developed a proprietary computerised management system to enable tracking of all transactions, with complete revenue accountability and the ability to monitor the performance of each machine from remote locations.

Vending Technologies’ independence means it has a network of long-term alliances with leading suppliers of major branded convenience food and beverages.


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