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1eEurope Continues Acquisition Trail, Buys Netsolv

Wealthy startup 1eEurope this week continued its acquisition trail -- on which it expects to spend a total of nearly $300 million -- by taking over e-business firm Netsolv.

1eEurope says it will build a pan-European network by acquiring the most innovative of Europe's Internet service providers. Netsolv is a U.K. company whose clients include BT, Agfa, and AutoDesk.

Late last year, 1eEurope acquired French company Centre Internet Europeen (CIE), Danish operator Cypress, and, just last week, Belgian e-business solution provider Icon.

Rick Kozak, chief executive officer of 1eEurope, said that Europe was still lagging behind in e-business, with only two out of five companies incorporating it into their strategic planning.

"The business-to-business market holds huge potential for the Internet. 1eEurope will deliver solutions to suit the distinctive dynamics of individual markets thereby helping to make European companies more competitive and improving their position in the rapidly changing global marketplace," said Kozak.

Netsolv founder Dr. Steve Cosby said being part of the 1eEurope network would help the company increase its speed, efficiency and flexibility.

"The quality of our partners across Europe will also allow us to share knowledge and best practice which will benefit all our clients," added Cosby.

1eEurope says it has started discussions with several other companies with a view to acquisition. It is especially interested in those that offer e-business services including web design, back office integration and data warehousing.

1eEurope is expected to target such high-growth vertical sectors as retail, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, finance and publishing.



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