RealTime IT News

Liberty Surf Acquires Freesbee

[London, ENGLAND] France's Liberty Surf Group said Monday that its acquisition of Freesbee, a consumer and business ISP, would strengthen its position in the French marketplace as the No.2 Internet provider.

Freesbee brings another 110,000 active subscribers to Liberty Surf, significantly adding to the larger ISP's user base.

A spokesperson for Liberty Surf said that Freesbee's subscribers would benefit from the favorable cost structure which the Liberty Surf Group enjoys because of its status as a telecoms operator.

For its part, Liberty Surf will benefit from Freesbee's strong distribution partnerships, such as the one it has with Casino. With 2.5 million subscribers in Europe, Liberty Surf is still keen to strengthen its brand by making distribution deals.

Strong recent growth has given Liberty Surf a new impetus, leading to the takeover of Freesbee. The group reports it has added 0.7 million active subscribers in the 40 days leading up to September 26, 2000.

During September, Liberty Surf also recorded 200 million page views, according to audience measurement firm MMXI. This places it in the top 5 in France, where it is said that 83 percent of the population recognizes the brand, according to a recent study by Sofres.

Created as recently as April 1999, Liberty Surf Group was floated on the Paris Stock Exchange in March this year, with Europ@web and Kingfisher each holding a 35 percent stake.

To pay for its latest acquisition, Liberty Surf Group will issue 1,635 million new shares, representing around 1.8 percent of its capital.