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Euroseek Acquires, Aspires to Be Multilingual, Multiplatform

In a series of sweeping acquisitions, the European portal and search engine EuroSeek has acquired stakes in content and internet access companies Sharelook, Tjohoo, Infranet and room33.

This is a milestone in 39-language EuroSeek's strategy to combine its pan-European consumer portal, search engine and consumer e-commerce initiatives with a multiplatform access networks including broadband, mobile and modem Internet services.

"Controlling the complete chain from consumer internet access to multilocal content, service providers and e-commerce in 39 languages makes us unique in Europe. These acquisitions will give us increased revenues and accelerated growth, short term, as well as creating leverage for the long term business development," says Bengt Hellsten, chairman of EuroSeek.

"The acquisitions are an important milestone in our strategy to become a leading Internet multimedia company for Europe by creating increased customer value through integrating cutting edge access technology with comprehensive local internet services."

In acquiring a majority stake (51%) in Sharelook, the European portal for local content, EuroSeek penetrates deeper into the local markets of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belguim, France and Italy. Expansion plans also include Spain and Hungary.

In addition, EuroSeek acquires 91% of the Swedish local portal Tjohoo and 50% of Halo, the meteorology site as well as 75% of EuroLocal, a portal specialised in regional and local public authorities/institutions.

Partnering with Sharelook's co-owners, media company Verlag Hans M|ller, will also provide editorial content to the portal and will give EuroSeek more content.

"By acquiring Infranet we can now offer broad band Internet access in order to establish closer consumer relationships earlier in the value chain and take a strong position in the broadband development. We will now be able to offer Internet access and services via modem, mobile phones or broadband," says Bengt Hellsten.

"Infranet is the cornerstone in EuroSeek's access offering, initially in Sweden, with plans for a rapid expansion into the rest of Europe."

EuroSeek has also acquired 26% of room33 (formerly Palm Reach), the virtual meeting place for users of mobile internet services. EuroSeeks strategy for this acquisition is to develop mobile Internet services (initially WAP) and a WAP-portal to channel these services.

Stockholm-based EuroSeek boasts 28 million visitors and over 100 million page exposures. But lately EuroSeek's Swedish traffic has decreased.