Claranet buys Netscalibur UK to lead sector consolidation

Cash deal creates largest non-telco Internet Service Provider to business, with operations across four countries and more than 40,000 business customers.

Deal is the largest UK ISP acquisition of 2003

Claranet, now the UK's largest non-telco Internet Service Provider to business, today announces the acquisition for an undisclosed cash sum of Netscalibur UK, a provider of Internet services to UK businesses. The acquisition confirms Claranet's position as one of Europe's leading Internet firms and is the largest such deal to have occurred in the UK in the past year.

The combined group will have an annual turnover in excess of £70m and a customer base of more than 40,000 businesses, giving it the scale to lead further consolidation in the sector. Claranet has been ebitda positive since 1999.

Charles Nasser, CEO, Claranet Group, commented

We are focused on offering our national and international customers the widest choice and best service in the industry. Following our acquisitions in Spain and Germany, this deal makes us one of the fastest growing ISPs in Europe.

This deal significantly strengthens Claranet's position in the UK's competitive business services market. Netscalibur UK's services and customer base complement our own, whilst our European reach will provide added value to existing Netscalibur UK customers.

The acquisition will give Claranet the financial clout and skills-set to lead consolidation across the business Internet services market. Claranet won Best Business ISP in the ISPA (Internet Service Provider Association) Awards in both 2002 and 2003 as well as "Best ISP on the Planet" from Internet Magazine.

Claranet originated in the UK in 1996 and has since become one of the most successful independent Internet Service Providers in Europe, with operations also in France, Spain, and Germany. For business users across Europe, Claranet is able to provide managed connectivity and web hosting services, e-commerce, Leased Lines, DSL, VPNs and security products.

Like Claranet, Netscalibur UK is a successful business out-pacing market growth. Today's deal will offer greater financial stability to its extensive customer-base, which includes blue chip clients such as Lycos, Countrywide, and Harvey Nichols.