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VeriSign sells off NetSol

Keeps control of .com and .net, natch

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VeriSign today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to sell off the registrar and hosting business of its Network Solutions subsidiary to Pivotal Private Equity for approximately $100 million.

But VeriSign will retain the registry business it obtained when it acquired Network Solutions three years ago. This business was recently renamed VeriSign Naming and Directory Services when it became part of VeriSign's Internet Services Group.

That means VeriSign remains custodian of the .com and .net domain name registries - so its plans to relaunch its controversial Site Finder service remain in place.

Under the terms of today's agreement, VeriSign will receive approximately $60 million in cash and $40 million in securities for selling a majority stake in its Network Solutions to Pivotal Private Equity. VeriSign will retain a 15 per cent equity stake in Network Solutions.

The transaction, which is subject to certain closing conditions, is expected to close in Q4 2003.

Said Stratton Sclavos, Chairman and CEO of VeriSign: "We believe that this transaction will strategically position VeriSign to focus exclusively on our core mission of providing critical infrastructure services for the Internet and telecommunication networks, while allowing Network Solutions to pursue its own independent strategy in the Web presence market." ®

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