Innovisions changes name and plans new direction

OPTICAL retailer Innovisions Holdings has changed its name to Shenzhen International Holdings to reflect the change of control over the company.

Mainland enterprise Shenzhen Building Materials and Industrial Group (SBM), joined forces with Allied Industries International and Fox Trail, a company privately owned by Raymond Ng Hock-lap, to form a new company called Maxton International which bought 50.1 per cent of Innovisions in January this year. SBM owns 60 per cent of Maxton.

Shenzhen International Holdings yesterday also announced plans to set up a wholly-owned subsidiary, Shenzhen International Limited, which will focus on investment opportunities outside the spectacles industry in China.

Chen Xiaoxiong, general manager of SBM and chairman of Shenzhen International Holdings, would not comment on SBM's future financing plans for its Hong Kong-listed vehicle, Shenzhen International Holdings. But analysts said Shenzhen International Holdings would probably follow the path trodden by many other mainland firms who have sought back-door listings, that is, to inject assets from the parent company in order to fund rapid expansion.

''It is possible that the new subsidiary will take up some industrial projects other than spectacles, such as glass processing,'' said Mr Chen. He added that no concrete projects had been drawn up so far for the new subsidiary.

SBM is a state-owned enterprise in China and its principal activities include manufacturing of building materials, and real estate development in Shenzhen, Guangdong, Hainan, Beijing and Shanghai.

SBM possesses more than 100 enterprises on the mainland with assets totalling five billion yuan (about HK$4.44 billion), according to Shen Shicheng, director of SBM. In 1993, SBM recorded 501 million yuan net profit and 3.4 billion yuan in turnover, he said.

Its major investment holdings include China Southern Glass, which is listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange, Shenzhen Cement Production, Guangdong Float Glass, Hong Da Mirror Production, Far East Granite , Shenzhen Granite Production, Wei Guang Treated Glass, Shenzhen Building Materials, Hainan Huakai Property Development and Zhuhai Heng Tong Transportation and Warehousing.

Shenzhen International Holdings plans to invest $20 million to open optical boutiques which will market designer labels such as Polo, Guy Laroche, Charles Jourdan and Giorgio Armani in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing.

Mr Chen said the company would open between 50 and 100 counters at Duty Free Shops, Friendship Stores and department stores throughout the country to sell fashionable sunglasses.

The company is also in the midst of negotiating distribution rights of other well-known brand names and planning to set up a joint venture with a European frame designer to manufacture frames in China.