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Pipex has bought AccentUK Limited - which trades as the much-respected independent broadband ISP, Nildram - in a deal worth £12.9m. The acquisition, announced today on the stock exchange, willl add around 35,000 broadband punters to Pipex's existing customer base, taking its total number of ADSL punters to 162,000.

Said Pipex chairman, Peter Dubens: "The acquisition of Nildram further strengthens Pipex's position as a leading UK provider of broadband services and takes the total number of broadband customers to 162,000. We continue to focus on our strategy of growth through both organic and acquisitive means, through opportunities which provide a clear strategic fit. The success of this strategy is demonstrated by the growth of our total customer base from approximately 12,000 customers in 2002 to over 350,000 customers today and a significant improvement in gross margin."

At the end of July 2004 Nildram had some 35,000 broadband customers, a third of which are estimated to be business customers. In the year to March Nildram generated £14.1m in revenues with EBITDA (earnings before interest etc) notched up as £366,563.

Announcing the deal, Pipex also reported that its broadband division continues to experience "good growth" and remains the fifth largest ADSL provider in the UK. For the first six months of the year, the number of punters signing up tot he service each month increased from 5,000 in December 2003, to just under 8,000 in June 2004.

Pipex also said it planned to launch a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service for small businesses (SME) by the end of the year.

In April, Pipex acquired Host Europe for £31.2m after making a recommended cash offer for the Web business. Pipex sad the deal was a neat match since more and more punters want telecom services from a single supplier. ®

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Host Europe morphs into Pipex
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