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Globalnet Financial.com is selling itself to New Media Spark after all.

The moribund financial info site with a handy portfolio of dotcom stocks has torn up its merger agreement with AISoftware, after Spark returned to the table with an offer matching its Italian love-rival.

Two days ago Globalnet threw away an earlier merger agreement with Spark, valuing the company at $9m cash, in response to an $11.25m bid from AISoftware.

What will the Italians do now?

And what will Spark do? Director Joel Plasco sounds very irritated indeed with AI: "We are," he told the FT "reserving our right to pursue a remedy against those entities we believe...forced us tp pay more than Globalnet than we should have to."

In a statement made to the London Stock Exchange today, Spark noted the "deteriorating cash position" reported by Globalnet, and stated that it had the funding to close the cash deal quickly.

Spark said it has already received acceptances of 41 per cent of the GlobalNet shares. Furthermore, an additional 12.9 per cent of stock is owned by AISoftware which, it argues, the Italian company must to tender into the offer.

Under an deal between Globalnet and AISoftware, the latter was supposed to hand over the shares if a definitive agreement to buy the company had not been reached by August 15. ®

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