Offer from ISIS Limited for your shares in InfoChoice
As you would be aware, InfoChoice has been the subject of a takeover offer from ISIS Limited. This offer is for one ISIS share and one option for every three InfoChoice shares. The offer is due to expire on 30th March.
Your Directors continue to recommend that you reject the ISIS offer.
This is for a number of reasons, in particular ISIS' falling share price and its financial circumstances. ISIS has also significantly restructured its business, placing less emphasis on those areas where there was synergy with InfoChoice.
Since our recommendation that you reject the offer we have had a number of meetings with ISIS in an attempt to drive additional value from the bid, and to satisfy ourselves as to its ongoing strategic direction. Unfortunately we have been unable to achieve this. Its share price has fallen dramatically from 81 cents in August when it announced their bid, to 13.5 cents on March 26th. ISIS' cash position has also deteriorated sharply, from $41.4 million as at 30th June 2000 to $7.53 million as at 31 January 2001.
Your Directors believe that the ISIS bid significantly undervalues your InfoChoice shares. As at the 26th March InfoChoice retains over $4m in cash, equivalent to approximately 8 cents per share, and as discussed below is looking ahead to becoming profitable during the coming quarter.
During the first half of the 2001 financial year the company has continued to develop new InfoChoice product categories, releasing FlightChoice (domestic airfare comparisons) and InsureChoice (health insurance). The resources involved in releasing these categories, along with delays in their scheduled roll out, resulted in lower than budgeted revenue to 31 December.
In the first two months of this calendar year however, there has been a significant improvement in sales, (measured as annual contract commitments with customers), especially in Bankchoice.com.au, the company's longest established site, which have recorded an increase of over $300,000 over the same period last year. On an accrual basis total revenue has increased by 75% in the first two months of 2001.
At the same time Directors have further restricted expenditure allowing the company to significantly reduce its overheads and concentrate on generating profitability from the existing product range of the eight InfoChoice sites developed to date.
As a result of the increase in sales and the ongoing cost reductions, Directors are now confident that the company will record a cash positive quarter in the three months April to June 2001. This will be some three to four months ahead of the initial timetable previously communicated to shareholders and should ensure that the 2001/2 financial year will be profitable.
From this base we believe that we will be in a vastly improved position to create the critical mass that the company needs in the current market, and are actively seeking opportunities to broaden and build both the revenue and profitability of the business.
I look forward to being able to report back to you in the coming months that we have achieved these objectives, and that both the company's and its shareholders' fortunes will improve as a result.