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Advantage takes stake in Strathmore

Advantage takes stake in Strathmore

Auckland - 3 September 1999 - Advantage Group Limited (NZSE: ADV) today announced it has purchased cornerstone shareholding of approximately 20% in technology investment company Strathmore for $600,000. This interest was acquired from Saree Holdings, which earlier today purchased the Thompson family's shareholding in Strathmore. Strathmore has acquired the investment arm of technology advisory firm, Foresight Partners, including its interest in telecommunications and Internet software company CommSoft. The majority shareholders appointed Foresight Partners' founder, Phil Norman, Peter Wright and Don Cowie to the board of Strathmore, with Mr Norman becoming Chairman. The new directors announced plans to focus on technology investments, targeting Internet, e-commerce and information technology companies with potential to deliver accelerated growth in shareholder value by competing in global markets. Strathmore will take strategic positions in businesses that have products with the potential to succeed internationally, quality management and the ability to become market leaders in the category. It will provide them with expansion finance, strategic counsel, market entry guidance and advice on capital structure and governance. "This represents another strategic investment for Advantage in the rapidly evolving e-commerce world," said Chairman Evan Christian. "Advantage is a high profile technology stock and one of New Zealand's largest software exporter, so it's a logical investment for us to take a leadership position in funding new business applications." "While we're not a venture capital company, we also do not want to waste the opportunities before us," said Mr Christian. "We wanted to be involved in a vehicle that could feed new business applications into the market and help them grow and develop. As an investor, Advantage can participate without diverting attention from the company's core business." "Being part of Strathmore enables Advantage to refer technology investment opportunities to a qualified and capable firm for appraisal and action," said CEO Greg Cross. "At the same time it allows Advantage to develop close relationships with other companies involved in the same sector and gives the company early access to new tools and technologies. "This is one of the most cost-effective countries from which to develop and export software," said Mr Cross. "New Zealanders are capable of developing word-class software and Advantage wants to encourage and foster entrepreneurs with vision in the e-commerce space." Company Backgrounds Advantage Advantage Group Limited, an NZSE listed company, is a leading supplier of e-commerce and transaction processing solutions in New Zealand, Australia and throughout the Southern Hemisphere. The company has three business units: business-to-business e-commerce, retail solutions and point-of-sale equipment. It provides web development capabilities, software development, transaction processing and funds transfer capabilities to enable end-to-end e-commerce solutions. Strathmore Strathmore Group Limited is a technology investment company. 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 finance, strategic advice and a network of relationships to assist established companies to migrate internationally. It also manages a high-tech incubator fund which enables smaller companies to grow to the point where they are ready for such a migration. ENDS

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