Tiscali buys majority of French ISP Liberty Surf

Tiscali SpA has made an offer to acquire 72.94 per cent of French ISP (Internet service provider) Liberty Surf SA from its majority shareholders Kingfisher PLC and Europ@web, the Italian telecommunications operator and Internet service provider announced Monday.

It will offer 0.365 Tiscali shares, as well as 2.13 euros (US$2.04) in cash, in exchange for each share in Liberty Surf, in a deal which values each Liberty Surf share at 9.83 euros, based on the average price of Tiscali’s shares over the last 20 days.

The offer will be open on the same terms to other Liberty Surf shareholders, and if all shareholders take up the offer the deal will be worth around 900 million euros, Tiscali said in a statement.

The deal will make Tiscali Europe’s largest independent ISP, with 10.7 million registered subscribers, of which 4.9 million are active users, the company said. Europe’s largest ISPs, France’s Wanadoo SA and Germany’s T-Online International AG, are respectively majority-owned by former monopoly telecommunications operators France T