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enterpriseAsia (EPA)

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Monday 11 August, 2003

enterpriseAsia

Change of Investment Policy

enterpriseAsia PLC
11 August 2003



                                   HIGHLIGHTS



•          Change in strategy to investing in or acquiring businesses in the
           education and training sectors.

•          Focus on increasing demand from the Greater China region for
           management and professional training, English language training and 
           overseas students attending UK educational institutions.

•          Convening of an Extraordinary General Meeting to approve the new
           investment policy.



Davie Auyeung, Chairman of enterpriseAsia plc, commented, 'Our strategy intends
to build on the increasing  importance of international business skills and
practices to professionals and businesses operating in the Greater China region.
Continued developments in China have only increased the demand for quality,
effective education and training programmes.  With the Board's background and
knowledge of this region, we intend to focus on this demand and the business
opportunities that aim to deliver value to shareholders.'







enterpriseAsia plc

Change of Investment Policy

Re-Admission to the Alternative Investment Market



Introduction

In the 2002 Annual Report, the Board announced that enterpriseAsia plc ('
enterpriseAsia' or 'the Company') would discontinue its investment strategy of
providing seed funding to a portfolio of start-up ventures in information
technology, and, instead, would look to concentrate on developing alternative
strategies capable of delivering shareholder value. It is the Board's belief
that the Company's strengths continue to be its knowledge of, and connections
in, the Greater China market, where there is a sizeable demand for exposure and
training in international business methods. Looking ahead, therefore, the
Company intends to implement a strategy focused on investing in or acquiring
businesses in the education and training sector.



The AIM Rules require upon a change in business strategy that an investment
company quoted on AIM must publish a new admission document and obtain
shareholders' consent to the new strategy. A document (the 'Admission Document')
is therefore being sent to the Shareholders and an Extraordinary General Meeting
is being convened to approve this change.



Business Strategy

The Company's new strategy is to develop a portfolio of businesses that focus on
providing education and training services to meet increasing demand from the
Greater China market. The Company intends that its main, but not exclusive, area
of activity will be centred on the Greater China region. However, if there are
opportunities elsewhere in the world within the same sector that the Board
identifies as having synergies with the Company's main strategy, then these will
also be considered.



The Directors have identified three main potential areas of activity as follows:



i.           Management and professional training particularly focussing on the
'bridge' between international standards and current practices in China;

ii.         English language training with a strong emphasis on business English
used in 'real life'; and

iii.        One-stop service for overseas students (particularly those from
China) attending UK educational establishments.



The Company's value platform will be built on the following elements:



i.           An understanding of the needs of the target market in China
including its expectations of and motivations for education, the cultural gaps
between China and the international world and the practical needs of education
seekers;

ii.         Strong branding of quality education;

iii.        Emphasis on educational effectiveness and service excellence;

iv.        Provision of 'real life' exposure to international culture and
practices; and

v.         Networking and collaboration.



This value set will also be transferred to the Company's investee projects by
the Company's management team in a proactive and consistent manner, so that
individual projects can benefit from the Company's participation beyond simply
ownership and student referral.



Management and Professional Training

With the entry of China into the WTO and the development of the Chinese economy,
the Directors believe that there is a growing demand, within China, for training
in international business standards and management philosophy. Such demand can
arise from a variety of sources driven by local Chinese companies,
multi-national groups and the professional sector.



Although China has founded much of its economic growth on a cheap labour
economy, the Directors observe that enterprises in China are beginning to focus
on the need to improve skills and efficiency in the face of increasing cost
competition from other countries. Moreover, the current trend of shifting
manufacturing sources towards more remote (and, by implication, cheaper) regions
within China must, in the Directors' opinion, have a finite life and therefore
competitive advantage should be based on more factors than labour cost. For
these reasons, the Directors believe that there has to be a decline in what
might be perceived under the traditional Chinese management view that adding
more (cheap) resources solves all problems - indeed, it can create new problems.
Therefore, the Directors expect a growing need among Chinese managers to
understand good business practices as an aid to higher efficiency and quality
consciousness, and among Chinese corporations to have good human resources
planning to strengthen management for the future. The Directors' believe that
amongst Chinese cities, it is those which are most exposed to international
business, e.g. Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, where these changes are most
marked.



The Directors also observe an increasing number of partnerships and joint
ventures between Chinese businesses/organisations and international businesses/
organisations and here there are issues of difference in cultures and relative
values which can impact on the potential efficiency of projects. Such
differences pervade interpretations of contracts, of timescales and even of
basic meaning within negotiations which go beyond the simple issue of language.



The third reason is the demand for international standards in professional
practice. The Directors have observed that many Chinese professionals have been
educated to emphasise political and economic interests, even though this might
on occasion compromise professional disciplines. The entry into the WTO,
however, is expected to increase the need for professional skills and
disciplines that comply with international standards. Such a need will create a
growing demand for education and training programmes related to international
standards in accounting, law, medicine, insurance, finance, engineering,
marketing and general management and these programmes will be especially popular
with younger professionals in China.



The Directors believe that, with their extensive network within China and their
own experience and exposure to international business standards, the Company is
well positioned to identify opportunities for training provision in these areas
within China.



The Company's strategy will be to encourage consolidation, clear branding and
the provision of programme content that readily addresses the needs of the
education seekers in a practical fashion. The first step of implementation of
this strategy will be to focus on the key training needs of medium sized
businesses in China.



English Language

The English language is an international language of business - a fact readily
appreciated by the Chinese government and seen by many young Chinese
professionals and executives to be a key factor in securing a relatively
well-paid job. The competent command of English language is already a
pre-requisite qualification for candidates of many executive positions in joint
ventures and foreign owned subsidiaries in China.



Already in China, there is a plethora of teaching organisations which offer
general English language courses. The Company has no intention of competing
directly with these. Instead, the Company intends to focus on specific uses of
English such as:



i.           English language training in conjunction with training in
international business operations and practice;

ii.         Special theme training, e.g. English for accountants, report writing
in a multi-national company, presentation to overseas customers, etc.;

iii.        Use of 'in situ' training for more efficient language learning and
applications in practice, e.g. language studies in the UK including practical
training in a UK company.



International Education

China is a major source of students for educational establishments elsewhere in
the world and the UK is no exception to this. The Directors believe that their
network of contacts will give them the opportunity to offer added value to
selected investments in UK schools and possibly other UK educational
establishments. All the directors have first-hand experience of this sector
three of the China based Directors have had or currently have children at UK and
Canadian schools, another China based Director was himself educated in England,
and a UK based Director is also a director of Europasia Education plc which, as
its name implies, focuses on education projects in the UK and China.



The Company will explore the opportunities for an integrated service to Chinese
students studying in the UK. This service is planned to encompass consultation
in their home city, selection of education programmes, orientation programmes
that simulate overseas living environments, financial arrangements and
assistance, monitoring services when the students are in UK, and familiarisation
programmes for the parents before they visit their children.



Proposed Acquisition

The Company has identified a business operating in the education sector which is
expected to provide regular cash dividends to the Company and create some
synergy with the Company's new strategy. The Company is in the process of
negotiating to acquire a 37.5% interest in a private day school near the South
Coast of England, which generated total profits after tax of approximately
£450,000 in its last financial year and is featured in The Times Top 50 Prep
Schools. It is proposed that the school's existing management team will continue
to develop the school and identify and manage other UK schools that the Company
intends to acquire going forward.



Prospects

The Directors consider that the prospects for the Company will be enhanced by
the move into education and training sectors for the reasons set out above.



Directors, Officers and Key Management

In order to strengthen the management resources of the Company in line with the
development and implementation of its new business strategy, a new Non-executive
Chairman was appointed by the Board on 5 August 2003 and a Non-executive
Director has taken up executive functions since July 2003.



The Board of Directors comprise:



Davie Auyeung, Non-executive Chairman (aged 57)

Davie Auyeung is a Fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Directors and has
extensive management experience in the government, non-government, education and
leisure services sectors. From 1977 to 2002, he held senior appointments in the
Hong Kong Jockey Club, a major employer and a leader in charity and leisure
services in Hong Kong. He was the Club's head of human resources and training,
and for 10 years he was its executive director in charge of the membership
division. He has also been active in community services. He has served on the
Council of the Hong Kong Committee of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF)
for the past 14 years. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the
Hong Kong Anti Cancer Society and the Hospital Governing Committee of Nam Long
Hospital under the Hong Kong Hospital Authority, and a government appointed
member of the Council of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. In September 2002, he
was appointed a Non-Executive Director of Wah Nam International Holdings
Limited, a company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with investments in
China.



The re-appointment of Davie Auyeung is subject to approval at the AGM.



Benjamin Ng, Chief Executive Officer (aged 46)

Benjamin Ng, B.Sc., CGA(Canada), offers a combined background in marketing and
finance in Greater China. He has held senior positions in a number of leading
international advertising agencies including DDB, Bates and J. Walter Thompson,
managing client accounts in fast moving consumer goods, banking, airlines,
telecommunications, and IT products and services. He has also been director of
Bestform Corporate Finance Limited and worked for Citibank Canada. He is
currently a Fellow of The Hong Kong Institute of Directors and an Affiliate
Member of the Association for Investment Management and Research.



Subject to his re-appointment at the Annual General Meeting, Mr Ng's service
contract will terminate on 30 June 2004 and he will resign from the Board with
effect from that date.



Ka Hang Lai, Business Development Director (aged 28)

Ka Hang Lai, B.Sc., M.A., is a graduate of the Imperial College, University of
London. He has a strong background in the investment banking field, having been
the director of two Hong Kong based securities brokers and dealers, Ka Wing
Securities Limited and CFN Hongkong Limited, covering both traditional brokerage
services and online financial services. Furthermore, he has connections in the
Greater China market, having been a director of Lucky Man Investment Limited, an
investor in power plant joint ventures in China. He is also the founder and a
director of Cyber Development Limited, a property investment company in Mainland
China.



The re-appointment of Ka Hang Lai is subject to approval at the Annual General
Meeting.



Phillip Brown, Corporate Relations Director (aged 55)

Phillip Brown, M.A., has had a career in marketing and business development. He
is ex-divisional director of Yorkshire Electricity Group plc ('YE'). At YE he
was responsible for start-up companies and new business ventures, including the
formation of Torch Telecom Limited, a company specialising in delivering voice
and data communications in the corporate sector. He has experience in a wide
range of new business ventures from fine alloys to cable TV to wind power
generation and was a director of Ionica plc. He was also the UK representative
on an advisory committee of DGXII (Research and Development) for the EU.
Currently, he is chief executive of Vintage Investments Limited and Chief
Executive for AIM quoted Europasia Education plc.



Philip Bing Lun Lam, Non-Executive Director (aged 59)

Philip Lam, FCMA, AHKSA, CMA(Canada), ACIS, ACIB, is currently the Director of
Finance for the University of Hong Kong, overseeing the university's whole
finance function. He first joined the university in 1975, and has held the
present position since 1990. He spent 3 years in Canada from 1982 to 1985, where
he worked as the Chief Accountant and Comptroller in the Overseas Bank Canada.
Prior to 1975, he worked for the Hang Seng Bank, a principal member of the HSBC
Group. He has also participated actively in community services, having been a
member of the Board of Review of the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department for
several years and committee member of a number of government and professional
bodies.



Extraordinary General Meeting

A notice convening the Extraordinary General Meeting of the Company to be held
at The Worshipful Company of Insurers, The Hall, 20 Aldermanbury, London EC2V
7HY at 11:45 a.m. on 27 August 2003 is included in the Admission Document. At
the Extraordinary General Meeting, the resolution will be proposed to authorise
the change in investment strategy.



Admission to AIM

Application will be made for the Ordinary Shares to be re-admitted to trading on
AIM on 28 August 2003 conditional upon the shareholders passing the resolution
at the Extraordinary General Meeting.



The Admission Document that includes the notice convening an Extraordinary
General Meeting has been posted to shareholders today. Copies of the Admission
Document are available from Insinger de Beaufort, 44 Worship Street, London EC2A
2JT.






                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange                                                                                                        

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