Czech ISP Cesnet Acquired by Tele Danmark Joint Venture
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Contactel Ltd, a joint venture between Danish telco Tele Danmark and Czech telecom company Ceske Radiokomunikace, won a bid to acquire a majority stake in Czech ISP Cesnet.
The proposed acquisition applies to the commercial part of Cesnet only. The academic network TEN-155 which is operated in the Czech Republic by Cesnet will be retained, as well as its services for universities. Cesnet will effectively, if not soon absolutely, be divided into two parts.
The actual terms of the contract between Contactel and Cesnet are still negotiated. The price is also unknown; Czech analysts estimate relatively high sum between 200 and 500 million CZK (US$6 to 14.5 million).
Contactel is one of the expected favorites of the Czech telecommunication sector once the market is liberalized, a move which is due by the end of this year. Contactel and another local company, Aliatel, are currently preparing to compete with existing monopoly of Cesky Telecom.
Cesnet was founded in 1996 as the association of Czech universities and Academy of Sciences. The primary purpose of Cesnet was to provide Internet access and other computational services to the schools and universities, but soon a commercial branch was launched. Cesnet reached revenues of approximately 180 million CZK (US$5.2 million) last year.