RealTime IT News

Energis Pays US $719 Million for German Web Hosting Company

[London, ENGLAND] U.K. telecoms network operator Energis announced Tuesday that it is paying US $719 million for a 75 percent stake in Ision, a German Web hosting company with operations across Europe.

Energis is purchasing most of its stake from Distefora, the Swiss and German based information technology group that currently owns over 13 million Ision shares.

Energis will also acquire over half a million shares from Alexander Falk, the chief executive of Ision, and more than a million from the company's management and others.

The deal calls for Energis to pay 26 percent in cash and 74 percent in new Energis shares, with completion expected by the end of January 2001.

The acquisition of Ision will strengthen Energis' operations in Germany where the U.K. company already has an extensive network. Ision brings a high quality client base and 800 complex hosted sites. It claims to account for 23 percent of all page views in Germany.

Mike Grabiner, chief executive of Energis, pointed to Ision's strong sales channels throughout Germany and its customer base and service capability as reasons for the acquisition.

"Ision also has a broad range of Internet and related services in five other European countries. Combined with Energis Squared and our other continental European Internet data centers, I believe this acquisition will make us the largest Web hosting company in Europe," said Grabiner.

Outside Germany, Ision operates data centers in Austria, France, Italy, Holland and the U.K., its total space equating to around 27,000 square feet. It employed 900 staff at the end of September, over half of them skilled engineers and software technicians.

Ision's revenues for the nine months to the end of September were around US $60 million, but the company made a loss during that period of US $10 million.

In the U.K., the Energis network is built along the National Grid's electricity pylon infrastructure. It operates over 6,800 kilometres of fiber optic cable in the U.K., and provides voice, data and e-commerce services to clients such as the BBC, Boots, Freeserve, Thomas Cook, Sainsbury and Whitbread.