Two become one: xIBA gets ‘Liberated'

Two become one: xIBA gets ‘Liberated'

Rising Internet market player and one of ASX investment darlings, Liberty-One, has extended its Web development capabilities by acquiring Sydney-based Web integration specialist xIBA through a stock and option deal announced recently.

LibertyOne will use the acquisition to buoy up its Web development and integration arm Zivo, which suffered significant shake ups due to the loss of several executives at the beginning of the year.

Zivo's chief executive officer Jeff Lewis said the acquisition is part of an ongoing strategy to grow Zivo's business in the Asia-Pacific, as well as increase its core competency in the field of Web integration.

"Our objective is to build upon our position as a leader in the Web integration business in the Asia-Pacific region through a combination of organic growth and acquisition," he explained. "The acquisition of xIBA immediately strengthens our Asia-Pacific network and increases our capabilities and expertise."xIBA, in operation for 30 months, offered a wide range of Internet and business advisory services throughout Asia-Pacific and Lewis expects the company's management expertise to significantly improve Zivo's Asian connections, with xIBA's former managing director Peter Church taking on a new role as Zivo's consultant for Asia-Pacific.

"Peter and his colleagues will continue to work with Zivo, helping us to build resources and develop viable business opportunities in the region as quickly as possible," Lewis said.

"This is particularly important when considering future growth of our Web integration business is expected to come predominantly from Asia."xIBA's staff has already been moved to Zivo's St Leonards' premises, while their offices in Bangkok and Singapore are being restructured to "achieve the Zivo level of service".

According to Lewis, no jobs will be lost in the process.

Zivo's next move in the region will depend on LibertyOne's ability to identify and acquire more players in the Asian Internet market, but Lewis predicts smooth sailing, revealing that plans to open up new offices in South Korea and Japan, and possibly China and Taiwan, are all part of the company's short-term growth strategy.

"We are focused on achieving the number one Web integration position in Asia, so all I can say is - watch out, we're coming! No, in fact, we're here already," he declared.

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