VerticalNet takes control of European joint venture

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VerticalNet, the Internet eCommerce enabler, is to increase its stake in VerticalNet Europe (VNE) to a 77% controlling interest. VNE - a joint venture with BT Ignite and Internet Capital Group (ICG) - also gained full ownership of VerticalNet UK.

“Increasing our stake in VerticalNet Europe and consolidating VerticalNet UK into VNE will improve our ability to deliver on our aggressive growth plans throughout the continent,” said David Kostman, president of VerticalNet International.

“We have established three marketplaces targeted at the European market in the last two quarters, and have additional ones scheduled for roll-out in the first half of 2001. We are increasing our ownership stake to take advantage of the area’s significant value-creation potential and to maximize the synergies of VerticalNet’s global operations,” said Kostman.

BT Ignite has also agreed to license VerticalNet eMarketplace Suite for distribution in selected regions around the world.

BT Ignite application services president Sally Davis, said: “The expansion of our relationship to include reselling VerticalNet Solutions’ digital marketplace tools reflects the strategic developments in both BT and VerticalNet over the last twelve months and better aligns our organizations.”

VerticalNet
VerticalNet provides end-to-end eCommerce solutions through three strategic business units: VerticalNet Markets includes 58 industry-specific websites designed as online vertical trading communities and provides hosted eCommerce and community capabilities for corporate divisions and mid-size businesses; VerticalNet Exchanges focuses on direct material open and spot markets; VerticalNet Solutions builds digital marketplaces for global 2000 customers, consortia and neutral net market makers. VerticalNet International leverages the company’s business units to create global Internet B2B marketplaces, offering products and services internationally and partnering with companies that have strong local presence and domain expertise.

British Telecommunications
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of telecommunications services and one of the largest private sector companies in Europe. Its activities include local, long distance and international telecommunications services, mobile communications, Internet services and IT solutions. In the UK, BT serves 28 million exchange lines and more than seven million mobile customers, as well as providing network services to other licensed operators.

BT has operations worldwide, with ventures in the Republic of Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand, Japan, Latin America and India.

In April 2000, the company announced a re-grouping of its activities into new, self-contained business units. These are:
• BT Ignite, an international broadband network business, focussed on corporate and wholesale markets
• BTopenworld, an international, mass-market Internet business
• BT Wireless, an international mobile business, with a particular emphasis on mobile data
• Yell, an international directories and associated eCommerce business
• BT Retail, serving end-business and residential customers
• BT Wholesale, selling network capacity and call terminations to other carriers.

BT and AT&T have also created Concert, serving multi-national business customers, international carriers and Internet service providers worldwide.

VerticalNet

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