Insight exits PlusNet, raises £15.8m

PlusNet snuggles up to BT

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Insight Direct, the UK arm of US reseller giant Insight Enterprises, has raised around £15.8m by selling its remaining 45 per cent stake in Sheffield-based ISP PlusNet through a share placong.

PlusNet also announced that it has added an extra 9,000 new broadband users since the end of September, taking its total ADSL customer base to more than 86,500. This continued growth means that trading is "expected to be ahead of market expectations" for Q4, said the company in a stock exchange statement, a move welcomed by the market which has seen shares leap 16 per cent today to 154p.

Confirmation that Insight had flogged its stake in the ISP came as PlusNet announced it was snuggling up to BT Retail to "work together and share technical knowledge on the development and marketing of each other's proposed new broadband products and services including fixed access, wireless access, mobile services and Voice over IP (VoIP)".

As a result of the memorandum of understanding, PlusNet could get an early look-in to test new products and services giving it a head-start among rivals.

Said PlusNet chief exec Lee Strafford: "Closely aligning PlusNet with BT Retail will help PlusNet to remain at the forefront of developments in the Broadband market in the UK. This is a strong endorsement of PlusNet's technical expertise and evidence that PlusNet is an integral part of BT Retail's strategy going forward.

"I expect the strategic relationship with BT Retail to bring new future product and service opportunities to PlusNet as well as valuable insight into infrastructure developments." ®

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