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GTS snaps up Esprit Telecom

$665 million buys greater access to Euro telecoms market

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US-based Global TeleSystems (GTS) is to buy Reading-based Esprit Telecom Group plc for $665 million in stock. The deal means that GTS and Esprit Telecom will have the largest independent cross-border carrier network in Europe. Greater competition from companies such as Cable and Wireless and the planned joint venture of BT and AT&T appears to have prompted the move, according to analysts. When the deal is finalised sometime within the next six months, the two companies will have a stock market capitalisation of around $4.1 billion, a presence in 19 countries throughout Europe and around 3,000 employees worldwide. CEO David Oertle will remain with Esprit Telecom throughout the transition. There are no reports as yet as to whether the deal will create any enforced job losses. GTS is based in Washington DC and owns a number of phone companies throughout Europe. Founded in 1992, Esprit Telecom is a facilities-based provider of telecoms services in Europe, generating more than a billion minutes of traffic a year. ®

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