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WorldOnline to fight legal action by shareholders

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WorldOnline is to contest a claim for damages brought by disgruntled shareholders following its IPO last year.

Earlier this week VEB - an association of private shareholders from Holland - began formal legal proceedings against the ISP claiming that WorldOnline withheld vital information ahead of the E2.9 billion float.

However, WorldOnline spokeswoman, Margaret van Kempen, told The Register that WorldOnline was unmoved by the claim.

"They [VEB] have no legal ground at all," she said.

In November 2000 the HQ of WorldOnline was raided concerning allegations of insider trading.

In Spring 2000 the company floated on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange but not before WorldOnline founder and ex-chairwoman Nina Brink had sold her stake in the ISP for $60 million - valuing her slice of the business at just E6 a share.

The initial price of WorldOnline was E43 a share but fell sharply after floatation.

Some investors claim that had they been told of this they would never have invested in the company in the first place.

Last year WorldOnline was bought by Italian outfit, Tiscali, for £3.6 billion. ®

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