[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