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$5m Webfirm sale

WHILE events promoter John Webb is pursued by Australia’s corporate regulators, there was a rare bit of positive news for a business he once ran. Just more than three years after Mr Webb sold his web development business, Webfirm, to Norman Asch, the South African-born Mr Asch has struck a $5 million deal to sell the business to Melbourne-based search engine and online media company, Ansearch Ltd. While the original price Mr Asch paid was reportedly $700,000, Ansearch has agreed to pay $3.5 million plus 21 million Ansearch shares worth almost $1.5 million for the Perth-based web development and search engine optimisation company. Mr Asch is selling two companies to Ansearch – Webfirm Pty Ltd and Search World Pty Ltd – in the deal. Trading as WebFirm Business Solutions out of Technology Park in Bentley, the business was listed as WA’s 12th biggest web developer ranked by staff in the 2007 WA Business News Book of Lists. It had 45 employees when the list was published. Ansearch is known for its search engine Ansearch.com.au. Ansearch said the consideration would be paid in three tranches, with $1.5 million in cash and 15 million shares with voluntary escrow provisions to be paid upon settlement of the business, while a further $1 million cash and six million escrowed shares would be paid on or before June 30 2007 and $1 million in cash paid on or before October 31 2007. - Julie-anne Sprague

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