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October 12, 1999

DigiCard Attracts Singapore Retailer to IT Investment

By CBR Staff Writer

Singaporean fashion retailer FJ Benjamin’s shares rose 38% before the local stock exchange suspended trading in them after it announced it was taking a 20% stake in internet venture NextMedia Pte Ltd. Such is the allure of the internet to investors that a $1.6m investment in the joint venture with Swiss company MIE Systems AG, added $34m to the paper value of FJ Benjamin. Rumors that NextMedia may be preparing to seek a Nasdaq listing also helped push the price up. NextMedia holds the patent rights for the DigiCard, a freeform technology derivative of the CD-ROM developed by MIE, in both the Asia Pacific region and North America.

Frank Benjamin, president and chief executive officer of FJ Benjamin, said the investment was a strategic move into related new lifestyle businesses, including e-commerce. We believe the DigiCard is an innovative media storage product that offers tremendous marketing potential for a wide range of lifestyle products and applications, he said.

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