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E*TRADE Acquires Rest of E*TRADE UK

Further consolidating its global empire, E*TRADE Thursday said it has acquired all the outstanding shares in E*TRADE UK.

Shareowners of E*TRADE UK will receive 3.8 million shares of E*TRADE common stock as a result of the agreement.

When launched in July last year, E*TRADE UK was a joint venture between E*TRADE Group (EGRP) in the U.S. and Electronic Share Information (ESI) in the U.K. It will now operate as a wholly owned subsidiary, offering online financial services to the U.K. market.

"The UK is a major European market and a magnet for foreign investment, and is therefore a crucial component of E*TRADE's global business strategy," said Judy Balint, chief international officer of E*TRADE Group.

Balint went to say that the acquisition of E*TRADE UK was a critical step toward the goal of building the first global cross-border trading network for online investors.

With 12 million private investors, the U.K. is a key market for any player in the online investment industry. One of the top names in this industry in the U.S., E*TRADE is clearly taking the U.K. market very seriously.

Online trading in the U.K. tripled during the third quarter of 1999, according to a recent survey by APCIMS/ComPeer. There is still room for expansion, as Fletcher Internet Research Group reported that over 4.2 million U.K. homes were connected to the Internet during 1999.

E*TRADE has expanded its cross-border trading network rapidly in recent months. In November last year it acquired all of E*TRADE @ NetBourse, which serves Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria, Italy and France, while also forming other strategic joint ventures in Germany, Denmark, Norway, and South Africa.

One of E*TRADE's largest acquisitions has been its purchase of international financial services company TIR Holdings Ltd. in August of last year. It said the acquisition was already advancing its goal to make global securities trading accessible to retail, corporate and institutional investors alike.

E*TRADE today also closed its merger with online bank Telebanc Financial Corp.