It's a Unique World when Smartbuy merges

It's a Unique World when Smartbuy merges

e-commerce solution provider Smartbuy has married its Web development partner Unique World in a 50/50 merger after the assets of both companies were valued equally.

The two companies have been working closely for the last 15 months, after Smartbuy appointed Unique World as its Web developer of choice when outsourcing e-commerce projects on behalf of its clients. According to Smartbuy managing director Tony Gattari, he and the directors of Unique World realised each could benefit from working together in the future. Smartbuy needed the technical skills of Unique World's developers, while Unique World needed the sales, marketing and distribution expertise of Smartbuy.

The merged entity, to retain the Unique World brand, will be led by Gattari as CEO and will employ over 40 people in Sydney and Melbourne. Gattari considers it a "merger made in heaven".

"It's a successful merger when it only takes three weeks," he said. "The speed of execution was based on the desire of both companies for [the merger] to occur. It gives both parties the opportunity to expand their skill sets and markets."

Smartbuy will continue to outsource its distribution and fulfillment to Post Logistics (a division of Australia Post), its call centre to Customer Care and its Web hosting to Davnet, but will now have Web development skills internally. The company is now interested in creating alliances with some of Unique World's vendor partners, such as Microsoft, Sybase and Vignette.

Gattari said there were no plans in place to gain further funding or a float. He believes the current business is sustainable, and he will only consider future investments from those parties that can add value to the Unique World business.

"We don't need funds for working capital," he said. "We would only need it for expansion or engaging in activities outside of what we already do."

Instead, he wants the company to grow organically through new clients and working on existing clients. As a result of Woolworths' acquisition of Tandy, (one of Smartbuy/Unique World's clients), Gattari believes he has a good chance of getting further work through Tandy's new parent. He also said he will be pushing to turn some of the company's suppliers into customers.

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