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Energis Paves Road to Europe With Dutch Telco Buy

Hailing the buy as a major step in its European IP and Internet strategy, UK telco Energis Thursday bought Dutch operator EnerTel for £352 million (US$571 million) in cash and stock.

EnerTel is a network operator catering to 120 corporations and 55 ISPs in the Netherlands, and reported earnings of £28 million (US$45 million) last year. The company offers voice, data and Internet services and its network has full ATM and IP capability.

Energis will also gain 70 percent control of EnerTel's holding company WorldPort Europe Holding B.V., together with two switches in New York and London. Energis will also gain the switches EnerTel holds in Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

Energis has acquired broadband capacity from WorldPort in return for assuming £9.0 million (US$14 million) in debt. This section of the deal is expected to be approved in the next two months.

"[The acquisition] will make us the leading alternative telecom operator in Holland, one of the most dynamic markets and a European hub," said Mike Grabiner, Energis' chief executive. Grabiner added that the deal expands the area in which Energis can now offer business-oriented data, IP and Internet services.

Energis also expects the purchase to leverage its August acquisition of UCS, which marked its entry into continental Europe. UCS offers basic connectivity services in 11 European countries, and Energis now intends to widen its network through new builds, ISP acquisitions, or other Internet-focused telcos.



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