Thumbs up for, Virtual Internet Deal

By @NY Staff

Domain name registrar and hosting firm has secured majority approval for its $17.2 million cash offer to take over U.K-based Virtual Internet plc.

The deal, which was announced on February 1, gives a major presence in the European market and, more importantly, complete control of RegistryPro, the partnership created to handle the new .PRO top level domain.

At the time the deal was announced, the $17 million price tag represented a 36 percent premium over Virtual Internet’s share price. site it received valid acceptances for approximately 24 million Virtual Internet shares, or 94 percent. The company expects the transaction, which is subject to U.K. City Code on Takeovers and Mergers, to close within 14 days.

Despite being unprofitable, Virtual Internet has a solid customer base throughout Europe and hopes revenues from across the Atlantic would narrow the gap with the number one registrar Verisign.

Chief executive Richard Forman said the takeover would allow his company a solid foothold in the U.K. and Europe, particularly in the corporate domain name services market.

In Monday’s early going, shares were trading up a shade at $8.70, still almost 50 percent off the 52-week high of $15.50. The year-low is $5.00.

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