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Sweden's Connecta Buys Danish B2B Provider

In advance of its planned merger with Scandinavian consultancy Information Highway, Sweden's Connecta announced Tuesday that it will acquire Albatros Network, a B2B consultancy based in Denmark.

Connecta will pay 69 million SEK ($7.8 million) for Albatros which has 60 employees and offices in Copenhagen and Arhus.

The move is the first stage in a major shake-up of the Internet consultancy sector in Scandinavia, where the forthcoming merger between Connecta and Information Highway will create one of Europe's largest Internet consulting firms.

Christer Jacobsson, Connecta's president and chief executive officer, said his company viewed its first foreign acquisition as a springboard to the Continent.

"Together with Information Highway, we will now become the strongest Internet company in the Oresund area, where we see an enormous growth potential," added Jacobsson.

With projects in Denmark, England and Germany as well its home base in Sweden, Connecta has been growing rapidly. Now, with the acquisition of Albatros Network, it will have nearly 600 employees in the Nordic region.

After the merger with Information Highway, the combined company will double again in size to around 1,200 employees, Information Highway itself having acquired several companies in recent months including Internet solutions provider ELK in Denmark.

Hans Henrik Hojberg, president of Albatros Network, said Albatros had been approached by a large number of companies with a view to acquisition, but most of them lacked Connecta's understanding of what big clients expect from an Internet consultancy.

"In Connecta/Information Highway we have found the perfect partner and now, together with ELK in Copenhagen, we can build an extremely strong company here in Denmark," said Hojberg.

In a second announcement Tuesday, Connecta says it is creating a joint venture company with Skandia Investment. The new company will explore various business concepts in the new digital economy, using a venture fund of 40 million SEK ($4.57 million).