Lycos Plans IPO in Europe, Debuts Singapore Site

As region-based Internet stocks are becoming more and more of a hot commodity in Europe, Lycos and Europe venture partner Bertelsmann have made plans to list on Germany’s Neuer Markt.

According to a Financial Times report, the Lycos Europe venture could be valued at up to $4 billion through the IPO. The listing will most likely take place in February, FT said, and up to 20 percent will be floated. Lycos (LCOS) owns 50 percent of the venture.

The IPO will be a landmark for the industry, according to the report, as Lycos will be the first US Internet player to separate and list its overseas venture. Lycos’ Korea and Japan regional sites may also follow this pattern, according to the FT.

Meanwhile, SingTel Thursday also announced that its venture with Lycos has produced its first live site, Lycos Singapore.

The site was officially launched ten weeks after the two companies partnered for Lycos Asia. The $50 million deal is charged with bringing localized versions of the Lycos Network to 10 Asian markets.

Tripod is expected to be added to the Lycos Singapore site in the next couple of weeks.

Mary Ong, Lycos Asia chief executive officer, said the company will deal with the onslaught of new competition in the region by relying on the appeal of its communities and a high level of localized and regional content.

Lycos Asia has teamed with MailCity Asia for e-mail, local auctioneer for online auctions, for online recruiting, and for calendar and event services. Local partnerships have also been forged for travel services and food channels, and SingTel itself will provide a directory.

Lycos Asia plans to produce regional sites in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, India, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. Lycos previously formed a company with Sumitomo Corp. and Internet Initiative Japan for its Japan portal, and in Korea with Mirae Corp.

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