The Largest Slovak ISP Created By Major Foreign Investment
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[Bratislava, SLOVAKIA] Two international investment funds, Advent International and Genesis Capital, acquired majority stake in Czech Internet service provider SkyNet, Inc in the last days of December 2000. Fully owned Slovak subsidiary of SkyNet, known under the name ViaPVT, will be merged with previous investment of these funds; thus, the largest Slovak ISP is going to be created.
Czech ISP SkyNet is focused mainly on wireless access in its home country. Its Slovak subsidiary ViaPVT offers connection, both fixed and wireless, to middle and large enterprises. After the investment of Advent and Genesis, ViaPVT will be merged with local company Slovanet, which both funds have entered to before. Majority among the customers of Slovanet are individual users and small businesses, so the synergy effect between merged companies is expected. "We have reached the ability to offer full scale of ISP services for enterprises," said Mr. Peter Kozdon, CEO of Slovanet. "Thanks to additional sources of ViaPVT and experience from the Czech Republic, our group will be able to develop further services aggressively," he added.
"To help Slovanet with consolidation and expansion, we are prepared to provide our experience with telecommunication and Internet business," said Mr. Chris Muck, CEO of Advent International. Advent is one of the world's largest private equity investment firms, with more than US $3.5 billion under management and offices and advisors in 15 countries. In Central and Eastern Europe, it has invested more than US $350 million into various market segments. Among its investments in the region, the most important are Globopolis.com, Czech content provider; Euronet Services, Hungarian networking company; @Entertainment, the largest Polish cable TV operator; Synergon, Hungarian systems integrator; Elender, the largest Hungarian ISP; CyberTron Telekom, Austrian telecommunication company; and PSG (now Slovanet), once one of the largest ISPs in Slovakia.
The total value of investment into SkyNet, Inc., runs into US $6.9 million. Previous owners of the company, investment funds ECM Holdings Ltd. and Octet LLC, keep "important minority" in the ISP; no exact information about the actual shares of respective shareholders are available.