Dixons Confirms Freeserve IPO

Dixons Group
Monday confirmed that it will float a minority interest in its highly successful
Freeserve Internet service,
following speculation last week that another ISP was attempting
a takeover.


Dixons says that CreditSuisse First Boston and Cazenove & Co.
will act as joint global coordinators of the offering and as
joint brokers to Freeserve. A syndicate of banks has already
been appointed to participate.


At the same time, Dixons announced the appointment of Nicholas
Backhouse as CFO, who will join the company from ING Barings
Ltd on July 1, and confirmed that David Melville is now
company secretary and general counsel of Freeserve.


“This is a
significant step in Freeserve’s strategic development and
represents an important opportunity to continue to build on
the quality of content and services that have made Freeserve
a leading UK Internet portal,” said John Pluthero, CEO of Freeserve.


Back in April, Dixons appointed CreditSuisse First Boston and
Cazenove & Co. to explore the various strategic alternatives
for realising Freeserve’s value to Dixons Group shareholders.
With the confirmation of the IPO, Dixons’ shares were up
44p (70c) to £12.33 ($19.73) midday on Monday.

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