European Investor Agrees to Take a Cornerstone
Plus SMS Holdings Limited
12 May 2006
European Investor Agrees to Take a Cornerstone Shareholding in Plus SMS Holdings Limited (“the Company”)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND: Hewon Capital Limited (“Hewon”), a Jersey-based investment company, has agreed to take a cornerstone shareholding in Plus SMS Holdings Limited, subject to shareholder approval.
A group of prominent international media and telecommunications entrepreneurs, executives and investors, will also form a Plus SMS Advisory Board to help drive and accelerate the growth of Plus SMS. These include: Rob Hersov (Chairman), whose family trust is an investor in Hewon Capital, is the former CEO of Telepiu Italia, founder of Sportal.com, and now vice chairman of NetJets Europe; Marco de Benedetti, former CEO of Telecom Italia Mobile; Johan von Holstein, Swedish entrepreneur and founder of numerous internet and media companies; Jean Chalopin, founder of global animation company DIC and now CEO of MoviePlus; Michael Watt, ONZ, founder of CSI Sports; Sir Christopher Lewinton, former Chairman and CEO of TI Group plc – a FTSE100 company; Jim Wiatt, CEO William Morris Agency; Christopher Tiensch, founder and former CEO of bmd wireless AG; and, Gonzalo de la Cierva, Spanish entrepreneur and founder CEO of Movilisto.
Plus SMS is at the forefront of text messaging technology which for the first time makes single, short code messaging available worldwide – a development which is fast capturing the attention of international marketers who last year alone saw more than a trillion SMS messages sent globally.
Through the Group’s exclusive control of more than 1000 country codes and national designation codes, corporations can now readily interact and reinforce their brands with customers around the world using ‘vanity’ short code numbers for SMS and MMS messages.
The acceptance of Plus SMS’ unique ability to exploit the burgeoning text messaging market is heavily underlined by the fact that the new cornerstone shareholder and Advisory Board comprise some of the most prominent names in the European media and telecommunications industries, along with some of that Continent’s most successful entrepreneurs.
Rob Hersov will chair the Plus SMS Advisory Board, which will work closely with the Board of Directors of the Plus SMS Group, assist management on progressing international partnerships and accelerating the development of the Group’s business operations. It will also work closely with the founder, Garry Donoghue and the Company’s Board, to identify and hire a world-class CEO and management team.
“Our immediate focus will be to ensure that the Group becomes fully operational as quickly as possible so that we can harness its enormous potential to exploit the burgeoning SMS markets around the globe,” said Mr Hersov.
Explaining the Hewon investment
arrangements, Company Chairman Jim Bracknell said the
transactions will involve:
· the subscription by Hewon for 10 million shares in Plus SMS Holdings at an issue price of 50 cents per share;
· the issue of 70 million warrants to Hewon (or their nominees) to subscribe for ordinary shares in Plus SMS Holdings at an exercise price of 50 cents per share with exercise periods ranging from 10 to 20 months.
A meeting of Plus SMS Holdings shareholders to approve the Hewon investment arrangements is expected to be called before the end of June 2006.
In the event that the Hewon investment arrangements are approved, the initial 10 million shares must be subscribed for by Hewon. If Hewon (or their nominees) then exercise all of their warrants, the Company would have raised NZ$40 million and Hewon Capital would hold approximately 19.8 per cent of the total number of issued shares of Plus SMS Holdings (based on its current capital structure).
In March, Plus SMS Holdings took a significant step in concluding an international messaging services agreement with Hong Kong based CITIC 1616 Ltd, China’s leading provider of telecommunications interconnection or ‘hubbing’ services. As a result, Plus SMS text messaging services are available to customers of mobile operators throughout Greater China, as well as other parts of Asia.