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ThruPoint Completes Purchase of European Network Consultancy

[London, ENGLAND] Internet working solutions provider ThruPoint Inc. announced Thursday it has completed its acquisition of Internetwork Support Ltd (iSL) in the U.K., thereby creating the largest network consultant and integrator in Europe.

A privately held company employing about 50 people, iSL has offices in England and Scotland, together with a long, blue-chip client list. Among its major customers are Royal Bank of Scotland, BT, Ciba Geigy/Novartis, Cable and Wireless, and Reuters.

ThruPoint, which has locations in 21 U.S. cities, has grown rapidly in Europe. Now at five European locations it already has offices in the City of London and near Heathrow Airport. With 600 employees overall it is a giant compared to iSL.

iSL's Managing Director Andrew MacDonald becomes regional director in the U.K. for ThruPoint. Dan McCarthy, who was previously head of ThruPoint's U.K. operations will become director of European business development.

"ThruPoint has spent the past five years focused on delivering innovative network solutions that deliver non-stop availability to the global financial services and telecom service operator markets," said MacDonald.

Bert Schaap, ThruPoint's executive vice president of European operations, said enterprises and telecom service operators alike need help in designing what he called "the complicated, multivendor networks that make their businesses hum."

"Together, ThruPoint and iSL provide the technical and business depth demanded in these highly complex network environments," said Schaap.

The market for network professional services in Europe is growing at a rate of over 17 percent, according to Gartner Group/Dataquest. It will grow from US $26.8 billion in 2000 to over US $50 billion by 2004, say the analysts.

Eric Goodness, director and principal analyst of Gartner/Dataquest's Network and Internet Services research area, commented that acquisitions have become an appealing means to grow the organization, given that the market is often impatient for organic growth.

"But few organizations consider the importance of the mutual fit of client experience, culture, and chemistry in the overall success of a particular acquisition," said Goodness.

iSL's MacDonald believes this is not the case in this instance. He said the two companies shared a vision and chemistry that represented a winning proposition all around for employees, clients, and shareholders.

Time, turnover and profits will tell if he is correct.