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GlobalNetFinancial.com Acquires European WAP Consultancy

International financial portal GlobalNetFinancial.com Friday bought European WAP and e-solutions consultancy Cyberwolf.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, although at March 31, 2000, GLBN had a war chest of $144 million in cash, enabling it to move quickly in filling any gaps in its capabilities.

GLBN also said it has hired Rahul Jaitly, formerly the chief architect of FT.com to join its technology group in the U.K.

The acquisition of Cyberwolf is part of GLBN's efforts to beef up its capabilities in the run-up to fulfilling a contract with BT. It is scheduled to provide financial news, content and e-finance commerce platforms to BT's Cellnet network of WAP mobile phone users, starting in the U.K. during the summer this year.

Stanley Hollander, GlobalNetFinancial's chairman, said the acquisition would help GLBN become the dominant investment Internet portal in Europe. He said it brings a state-of-the-art interface to both wired and wireless users of the Internet.

"A key component of our plan is to make our wholly-owned money and finance content as well as our partially-owned financial transaction platforms available to mobile WAP users and wired broadband traffic. We are making this investment so as to be able to control our own destiny in these areas," said Hollander.

Cyberwolf's Chief Executive Officer Gavin Whichello said the market is evolving rapidly and no Web site or financial products provider could ignore new platforms, including the wireless telephone and television.

"GlobalNetFinancial.com has the vision, resources and relationships to create a dominant position as a pan-European investment portal," said Whichello.

Mobile users with a BT cell phone will be able to buy and sell shares over the Internet when GLBN's service goes live. Users will also have access to online news and content, share price alerts, stock price quotes, and an array of personal finance services.

In the U.K., GLBN's service is a one-third owned joint venture with Freeserve, plc and First National Bank.

GlobalNetFinancial.com is itself 21 per cent owned by its strategic partners.