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Kingston flogs Omnetica France

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Hull-based Kingston Communications has flogged the French operation of Omnetica, the IP networking operation it acquired late last year. Omnetica France, which trades as Arche Communication, has been snapped up by Belgium-based Telindus for €47m (£32.3m).

The deal still needs the nod from French competition authorities but is expected to be completed by June. Kingston said it would use the cash to help reduce bank debt.

The Hull-based telco bought Omnetica in December 2004 for £169m in cash and shares. At the time Omnetica consisted of Omnetica UK, PRES in Italy (which it sold at the beginning of March) and Arche. Now that both European businesses have been sold, it marks the end of Kingston's European jaunt.

Omnetica UK has now been merged with Kingston's Business Services Division and network storage outfit Technica, which it bought in March, to create Affiniti - Kingston's communications integration business.

"The sale of Arche allows us to focus fully on our UK operations and in particular on the opportunities for Affiniti," said Kingston chief exec Malcolm Fallen. ®

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