nettime's_roving_reporter on Thu, 31 Dec 1998 11:21:26 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> J2K IPO

Wednesday December 30 9:50 AM ET plans public offering in spring '99

By Nicole Volpe

NEW YORK (Reuters) -, a Web site launched
last week, said it plans to make an initial public
offering in the spring of 1999 after negotiating for a
private placement to fund the site.

The site, which calls itself ``The Holy Land's Largest
Shopping Mall on the Internet,'' said its profits come
from sales of religious articles such as olive wood
crosses or mother of pearl rosary beads from Bethlehem.

Investors include Vector Holding AG of Luxembourg,
which is a partnership of business entrepreneurs from
the United States, Europe and the Middle East,
according to a spokeswoman. Another
investor is Nativity Holdings Ltd of Nazareth Israel, a
Vector affiliate, she said.

The company said it already registered its first day of
more than 1 million hits, or visitors to the site.

The company, which provides religious, historical and
travel information in addition to selling books and
CDs, said the million hits came from ``virtual
pilgrims'' attending a Cyber- midnight mass broadcast
live from Bethlehem on Christmas eve. The site does not
post banner advertisements like most sites, only
reminders to ``Be ready for the return of the
Messiah!'' It also does not charge for membership.

The company said was set up with the
advice of the Middle East Council of Churches, which
represents a range of Christian denominations.
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