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Public Offer for Subscription to Raise Up To £7 Million

A public Offer for Subscription was launched today by TIMBERWeb PLC, with the award-winning timber website. The ‘Company’ is being advised by Grant Thornton and Matrix Corporate Finance.

Key Points

  • Offer for Subscription to raise up to £7 million;
  • The Company’s objective is to be the preferred global B2B timber eMarket covering sawn or further processed softwood and hardwood, logs, roundwood, panel products and veneer;
  • The market has been independently estimated at US$ 162 billion;
  • Through creating a transparent market place and by the elimination of supply chain inefficiencies, the Directors believe that the eTrader will deliver:
  • o
    • for buyers, competitive prices, lower procurement costs, reduced stockholdings and new sellers to buyers, while at the same time;
    • o
    • for sellers, increased sales volumes, supply chain infrastructure & marketing cost savings, reduced stockholdings and new buyers;
  • The management team has extensive experience of timber market and the requirements of developing internet based solutions;
  • TIMBERWeb has attracted over 500 subscribing members from more than 50 countries since 1997, and has a database of over 200,000 timber and timber related businesses from over 140 countries. The Directors believe that this is the largest database of timber related businesses in the world;
The net proceeds of the Offer, assuming Full Subscription, amounting to approximately ú6.25 million after expenses should enable the Company to:

  • Develop the eTrader using a leading B2B trading platform and other software in order to provide additional features and services to members and the timber industry;
  • Promote the TIMBERWeb eMarket and the TIMBERWeb eTrader on an international basis both on-line and off-line;
  • Expand international sales and operational capabilities to support inter-country and intra-country trading;
  • Develop international timber related web site content;
  • Recruit, train and develop additional sales, operations, technical and administration staff;
  • Upgrade and maintain the overall technical infrastructure;
  • Promote the early use of eTrader by key buyers and sellers;
  • Acquire suitable businesses, where appropriate, to further the TIMBERWeb strategy; and
  • Provide working capital for general corporate and trading purposes.
Commenting today, Keith Richmond Chairman and CEO said :

“By applying 21st century technology to a very traditional and fragmented industry, we believe the opportunities to be significant and hope to establish TIMBERWeb« as the preferred Global B2B Timber eMarket in the worldwide timber trade which has been independently estimated to be worth up to US$162 billion.”

The eMarket provides extensive timber-related information and the TIMBERWeb eTrader enables buyers and sellers to contract for the purchase and sale of timber over the internet. TIMBERWeb has attracted more than 500 subscribing members from over 50 countries and the Company has established a database of over 200,000 timber and timber-related businesses. The Directors believe this database is the largest of its type in the world.

Background

TIMBERWeb was established in early 1997 by KDM, an international timber trading company which recognised the potential of the internet and the effect it might have on the industry. It initially took the form of a focal point on the international timber industry which included a web site directory of timber businesses with news and currency rate and conversion tools. A bulletin board and online chat conference facility were later added as well as a price estimator and other functions such as the ability to search for domain names, check time zones and shipping schedules, post CVs and review employment opportunities in the timber industry.

Earlier this year, TIMBERWeb was judged the winner of the Barclays Bank/ Sunday Telegraph @chievement Award 2000 in the Mid Corporate category, and the company has won other high-profile Awards each year since 1998.

In 1998, TIMBERWeb won the Financial Times Business Web Site ‘Site to Watch’ Award.

Initially the ordinary shares will not be traded on any recognised investment exchange. It is the intention of the Directors to seek such a facility at the earliest opportunity.

TIMBERWeb PLC is headquartered in Ipswich, Suffolk, UK.

Management Team:

Keith Richmond, Chairman and CEO
Richard Fairbanks, Chief Financial Officer
Russell Blackman, Chief Technology Officer
Paul Harris, News and Marketing Director
Peter Brown, Non-Executive Director

Offer Statistics:

This Offer For Subscription is seeking to raise a minimum of ú2 million and a maximum of ú7 million before expenses. The Directors reserve the right to issue New Ordinary Shares beyond the Full Subscription but not exceeding ú10 million.

Assuming the Full Subscription of 8.75 million New Ordinary Shares:

Offer Price: 80 pence
Market Capitalisation at Offer Price: ú25.0 million
Percentage of the enlarged issued capital being offered 28.03%

Timetable

Offer for Subscription opens 10am 6 November 2000
Closing date 5pm 4 December 2000
FULL DETAILS IN ATTACHED PROSPECTUS

Enquiries:

Keith Richmond, Chairman and CEO TIMBERWebÊ PLC
Tel: +44 (0)1473 632636
Mobile: 07770 688400

Gerald Beaney, Grant Thornton
Tel: +44 (0)20 7383 5100

Michael Annis, Matrix Corporate Finance
Tel: +44 (0)20 7439 6050

Alex Walters, Walters Associates
Tel: +44 (0)20 7440 5658
Mobile: 07771 713608

This press release is important and requires your immediate attention. If you are in any doubt about the contents of this press release you should consult a stockbroker, bank manager, accountant or other independent adviser authorised under the Financial Services Act 1986 who specialises in advising on the acquisition of shares and other securities.

This press release has been issued by TIMBERWeb PLC (“the Company”) and has been prepared solely in connection with the proposed Offer for Subscription by the Company. This press release has been approved for the purposes of section 57 of the Financial Services Act 1986 by Grant Thornton, which is regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

The contents of this press release are the responsibility of the Directors of the Company. Grant Thornton is acting as financial adviser to the Company and no-one else and will not be responsible to anyone other than the Company for providing the protections afforded to clients of Grant Thornton or for providing advice in relation to any investment made pursuant to this press release.

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