T-Online Enters Venture With Commerzbank

Top Germany ISP
T-Online International and
Commerzbank’s online broker
announced a joint venture Thursday, as well as a stake swap deal said to be worth $1.2 billion for each partner.

The strategic move comes a few days after Spain’s
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria announced it was going to
develop Internet projects with Telefonica.

“With T-Online we can strengthen our authority in Internet
banking crucially,” said Dr. Norbert Kaesbeck, a member
of Commerzbank’s executive committee.

“Both the customers of Commerzbank and Comdirect will
noticeably profit from it. It is our avowed common target
to make co-operation an immediate success for all involved parties,”
said Kaesbeck.

Earlier this week, T-Online’s parent company
Deutsche Telekom announced
it was merging T-Online with Club Internet, the French
ISP operated by media group Lagardère.

The participation of Comdirect will similarly increase the
value of T-Online internationally. Comdirect is the leading
European online broker with 306,000 clients, a figure that
is expected to rise to half a million by the end of this year.

T-Online is planning an IPO in April which will greatly
expand its value, estimated by some analysts as high
as 30 billion euros (nearly $30 billion). With such a
valuation, Comdirect may end up owning a relatively
small percentage stake in the ISP.

The news cheered the stock market, with shares in both
Commerzbank and Deutsche Telekom making significant gains.

News Around the Web