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Freeserve and Wanadoo get hitched

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French ISP Wanadoo has agreed an all-share offer for Freeserve valuing the British ISP at £1.65 billion.

The offer values each Freeserve share at 157p - a modest premium of approximately 11.2 per cent based on last nights closing price of 141.25 pence per Freeserve Share.

As a result of the all-share deal, Freeserve's parent, Dixons, will become the second largest shareholder in Wanadoo with a 12.7 per cent stake in the enlarged Group.

John Pluthero, the CEO of Freeserve, will join the executive committee of Wanadoo as part of the deal.

In a statement, Nicolas Dufourcq, CEO of Wanadoo, said: "This agreement with Freeserve is a tremendous step forward in terms of our international growth strategy.

"It makes us the number one ISP provider in two of Europe's top three e-economies."

Pluthero said: "The additional resources of a large international group, combined with our ongoing relationship with Dixons will create new opportunities and accelerate the development of our core business." ®

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