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Voyager Hopes to Grow Fat on B2B Focus for Dietary Products


Yesterday's testimonials for

Voyager Group


are from thankful dieters who have dropped dozens of pounds and inches from their waistlines.

John Southerland, Voyager's president, hopes tomorrow's testimonials come from happy investors.

Voyager, which sells dietary products called "You Never See a Fat Tiger" and "BodyLite Tiger Power," announced Monday that it was changing its name to

Voyager Internet

, putting up a new Web site, possibly investing in start-up technology companies and leading a brave charge into the alluring business-to-business world. It would still sell dietary products.

"My biggest focus is shareholder value," Southerland said in an interview. "We've been a publicly traded company for five years now. It just didn't make sense to have the public company just sit there.

"I would hope we would have half the success of some of those out there, like



," he said, invoking the hugely successful initial public offering, a business-to-business company that soared 488% on its first day of trading.

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Southerland is hoping to gather companies with sales forces and network-marketing teams and simplify their needs for a fee in one big Internet market.

Citing a report from Gretchen Teagarden, an analyst at

Thomas Weisel Partners

, that projected the business-to-business market would hit $2 trillion in 10 years, Southerland emphasized in a statement that this growth "could potentially increase stock value" for Voyager.

After Voyager's announcement, the company's shares rose 1/8, or 2%, to close at 5 3/4.

Southerland said in the interview that the company was also doing a reverse 1-for-6 stock swap, effective Jan. 31, with the idea that cutting the supply of Voyager's shares would increase the demand. Still, Voyager traded only 34,000 shares Monday.

The tag line on the company's current Web site is, "Voyager: The Ultimate Voyage to Health, Wealth and Freedom." It features endorsements from second-tier celebrities like

Bob Eubanks

, the game-show host, and

Jamie Farr

, who played the character Klinger on the television show



And the site proclaims, "Heroes are made, not born!" That was the resonant battle cry of Voyager's founders, who "rose to a monumental challenge and took destiny in their own hands," according to the site.