Telenor’s Nextra Acquired an Important Czech ISP

Nextra, fully owned subsidiary of
Norwegian telecommunication company Telenor, has strengthened its
position of pan-European ISP by the acquisition of PVTnet. “I perceive the acquiring of
PVTnet as natural development,” said Mr. Kjetil Ovesen, the general
manager of Nextra Czech Republic, and added “The union with PVTnet will
allow us to extend our activities to the whole Czech Republic.” Nextra
offers its services in Prague only at this moment. It has established
its presence on the Czech ISP market by two previous acquisitions of
smaller Czech ISPs, namely of in October 1998 and of OasaNet
in February 1999.

The purchase price was not disclosed. According to the Czech analysts,
PVTnet currently serves some 10,000 dial-up customers as well as 350
leased lines. By comparison with recent similar acquisitions, the price
can be estimated between US$ 10 and 15 million. Part of the price was
paid in shares of Nextra Czech Republic. PVT entered this company in the
form of ownership participation of 9,99 %. “Another important impact [of
the transaction] will be the cooperation between PVT and our parent
company, Telenor AS of Norway, which is interested in finding common
solutions in the area of system integration and application
development,” added Nextra’s Mr. Ovesen. PVT is leading Czech system
integrator, No. 2 on Czech IT services market. Its principal customer is
Czech government.

The acquisition of PVTnet is perhaps the last one of such importance on
the Czech ISP market. All the major Czech ISPs are either fully or
partly owned by foreign partners and investors now. The largest one,
Czech On Line, has been acquired by Telekom Austria in April 2000. Other
main players are Cesnet (owned by Contactel, joint venture controlled by
Tele Danmark), IOL (subsidiary of Czech Telecom, incumbent telco
controlled by Dutch KPN), KPNQwest and PVTnet itself.

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