MindSpring Purchases Netcom Assets

MindSpring Enterprises Inc. Wednesday purchased the subscriber base of Internet provider Netcom from ICG Communications for $245 million in cash and stock.


The deal will give MindSpring another 400,000 individual dial-up customers,
3,000 dedicated accounts and 18,000 Web hosting customers. When the
acquisition is finalized, MindSpring expects its dial-up subscriber base to
top 1 million.


MindSpring will also acquire several operations facilities in San Jose,
Calif. and Dallas. The ISP will also hold all U.S. rights to the Netcom name.


ICG will retain the network assets and will sell MindSpring wholesale
access to its network under a separate services agreement. Terms of that
agreement were not specified.


Wednesday’s deal includes only Netcom’s United States operation, but Netcom
Canada and Netcom UK.


Charles M Brewer, MindSpring’s chairman and chief executive officer, said
the acquisition is consistent with its goal of becoming a major player in
the industry.


“We believe Netcom’s assets and employees will enable MindSpring to expand
the scope and depth of top-notch service that we currently provide to our
customers. Not only have we demonstrated the ability to drive growth and
successfully manage acquisitions, but we have done it profitably since the
fourth quarter of 1997,” he said.


J Shelby Bryan, ICG Communications’ president and chief executive officer,
said the sale of Netcom to MindSpring is consistent with its plan to focus
on telecommunications and expand its customer base by building strong
relationships with Internet providers.


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