Telenor's Nextra Acquired an Important Czech ISP
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Nextra, fully owned subsidiary of Norwegian telecommunication company Telenor, has strengthened its position of pan-European ISP by the acquisition of PVTnet. "I perceive the acquiring of PVTnet as natural development," said Mr. Kjetil Ovesen, the general manager of Nextra Czech Republic, and added "The union with PVTnet will allow us to extend our activities to the whole Czech Republic." Nextra offers its services in Prague only at this moment. It has established its presence on the Czech ISP market by two previous acquisitions of smaller Czech ISPs, namely of Terminal.cz in October 1998 and of OasaNet in February 1999.
The purchase price was not disclosed. According to the Czech analysts, PVTnet currently serves some 10,000 dial-up customers as well as 350 leased lines. By comparison with recent similar acquisitions, the price can be estimated between US$ 10 and 15 million. Part of the price was paid in shares of Nextra Czech Republic. PVT entered this company in the form of ownership participation of 9,99 %. "Another important impact [of the transaction] will be the cooperation between PVT and our parent company, Telenor AS of Norway, which is interested in finding common solutions in the area of system integration and application development," added Nextra's Mr. Ovesen. PVT is leading Czech system integrator, No. 2 on Czech IT services market. Its principal customer is Czech government.
The acquisition of PVTnet is perhaps the last one of such importance on the Czech ISP market. All the major Czech ISPs are either fully or partly owned by foreign partners and investors now. The largest one, Czech On Line, has been acquired by Telekom Austria in April 2000. Other main players are Cesnet (owned by Contactel, joint venture controlled by Tele Danmark), IOL (subsidiary of Czech Telecom, incumbent telco controlled by Dutch KPN), KPNQwest and PVTnet itself.