RealTime IT News

NetBenefit Acquires NetNames

A major shake up among the UK's Internet domain naming firms this week was caused by the acquisition of NetNames International by NetBenefit Plc.

NetBenefit will acquire all the issued share capital of NetNames for approximately £1.1 million ($1.78 million) in cash, together with 2,889,445 new NetBenefit ordinary shares. It will also place a further 625,000 shares to raise an additional £3.3 million ($5.35 million).

"Two of the UK's original Internet pioneers have combined to establish a potent new force," said Jonathan Robinson, CEO of NetBenefit.

"We fully intend to dominate the sector, and use this dominance to surf the forthcoming wave of growth in business-to-business e-commerce."

Founded by Ivan Pope in 1995, NetNames now has offices in London, Sydney, LA and New York. It offers one-stop shopping for companies and individuals who need to register, manage and protect momain names in any part of the world.

"I believe that this deal is the best possible outcome for NetNames and NetBenefit," said Pope, who added he would continue to be involved with the company as a non-executive director.

"I will be working with the board to ensure that every growth opportunity is identified and maximised, in the UK, Europe and the US."

A key factor in the takeover has been NetNames' position in the United States, where its operations will greatly add to NetBenefit's international presence. NetNames also brings greater strength to the group in the increasingly lively market for Internet IP consultancy.

NetBenefit not only supplies Internet name registration services, but also provides Web site hosting and a range of e-mail and e-commerce products.