Child-care products manufacturer Wiltec Holdings is diversifying into the hi-tech field of helping companies overcome the millennium bug. The company yesterday announced a $6 million joint venture with Canada's Orlan Karigan and Associates (OKA) to market the LS/2000 system in Hong Kong, a software developed for identifying and fixing the Year 2000 (Y2K) problem in computers. The joint venture also hopes to attract business by allowing publicly-listed companies who are short of cash to pay for the Y2K service in a novel way - with new shares. The venture, called Y2K Solutions, is 51 per cent held by Wiltec and 49 per cent by OKA. Wiltec, which listed on the stock exchange last December, revealed on Monday net profits for the six months to September fell 32 per cent to $15.73 million. While acknowledging that the move from a child-care products company to software service provider was a big step, Wiltec vice-chairman Shouson Chen said: 'We see this as the first step in getting into more service-oriented areas of providing services to our fellow companies in Hong Kong as well.' He said the stock exchange requirement that all members be Y2K-compliant had sparked Wiltec's interest in the business. 'We felt there would be a lot of interest from companies rushing to comply with the Y2K requirement,' Mr Chen said. OKA principal Mark Orlan said: 'Wiltec's role in this is to open the door to Hong Kong's market, in terms of their connections with various businesses here. 'What we bring to the table is the technical expertise, the project management, the ability to turn the business around and provide a solution . . . we have one side, they have the other.' Under the terms of the deal, Wiltec will provide local marketing and sales expertise while OKA will provide the technical know-how and the LS/2000 product through a two-year licensing agreement. 'Several parties have already expressed interest,' Mr Chen said. He estimated that contracts would probably be in the $600,000 to $3 million range.