RealTime IT News

Information Highway/Connecta Takes Over German Consultancy

Swedish group Information Highway/Connecta announced Tuesday that it will acquire berens/partner, one of the largest Internet consultancies in Germany.

Information Highway/Connecta will pay for the purchase by issuing 16.3 million new shares in a deal that values berens/partner at 225 million euros ($218 million).

Information Highway/Connecta is itself still in the process of merging its two constituent parts. Its stated ambition is to become Europe's leading business-to-business Internet consulting player.

Trading in Information Highway and Connecta shares was suspended on the Stockholm Stock Exchange Monday, pending Tuesday's announcement.

Founded in 1992 and now employing 130 people in Dusseldorf, Hannover and Stuttgart, berens/partner has a list of blue-chip clients including Deutsche Bank, Mannesmann, Deutsche Renault, and DM Online. It specializes in interactive business solutions and has a reputation for building online platforms for financial markets.

Goran Wagstrom, Information Highway's president, said that the deal is bringing a profitable company to the group, with business in what he regarded as the most exciting market in Europe.

"This gives Information Highway/Connecta the perfect platform for continued expansion in Germany and other German-speaking countries," said Wagstrom.

Johan Wieslander, deputy chief executive officer of Connecta, said the new acquisition would consolidate the group's increasingly strong position in the B2B sector in Europe.

Jorg Berens, the founder and chief executive officer of berens/partner said the merger would enable his company to function as an internationalized corporation on pan-European projects.

"This is a strategic merger that gives us the opportunity to satisfy progressively higher and more internationalized client demands within e-commerce," said Berens, who is the main owner of berens/partner.

With the addition of berens/partner, Information Highway/Connecta will have 1,350 employees in six countries. It says it will now intensify its efforts to obtain a double listing on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.