HC International and Global Sources (GSOL) are planning to form one of China's largest B2B strategic alliances.

Together, they operate 72 industry-focused websites serving approximately 4 million suppliers and 950,000 buyers from 230 countries worldwide. Annual revenue for the two companies together was approximately US$150 million in 2005.

Global Sources also announced that it is making a strategic investment to acquire 10% of HC International's issued shares from IDG Technology Venture Investment. Global Sources has entered into an option agreement allowing it to increase its equity stake in HC International to approximately 35% at any time within 12 months of completing the initial transaction.

If this option is exercised, Global Sources will be required under Hong Kong regulations to make a general offer for all HC International shares held by the public.

Global Sources Chairman and CEO Merle A. Hinrichs said, "The partnership between HC International and Global Sources transforms the China B2B landscape and enables the launch of many new online verticals, magazines and trade shows for the fastest growing industries in China, the world's fastest growing economy."


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