ISP Spray sold to Telenor's Glocalnet

27 Nov 2006

Lycos Europe, the internet group partly owned by Bertelsmann and Telefónica, has agreed to sell its Swedish broadband internet and telephony subsidiary Spray Network for EUR18.9 million (USD24.8 million) in cash to rival broadband and fixed line operator Glocalnet, owned by Norway’s Telenor. The 100% share deal is subject to approval by antitrust office the Swedish Competition Authority. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Lycos Europe acquired DSL provider Spray in August 2004, and at the end of September 2006 it sold Spray’s web portal business to local media company Aller Svenska AB for EUR16 million. Telenor is the second largest player in the Swedish broadband access market, and its latest acquisition closes the gap a little further on dominant operator TeliaSonera. The database shows that Telenor acquired broadband service provider Utfors in December 2002, integrating its corporate user base with its Telenor Business Solutions unit, while residential customers were moved to Glocalnet. The Norwegian operator’s presence was further enhanced by its July 2005 purchase of second placed broadband ISP Bredbandsbolaget for USD821 million, and it followed this up by fully consolidating Glocalnet in March 2006. At the end of September 2006, Bredbandsbolaget claimed 429,000 high speed internet customers compared to Glocalnet’s 119,000, and Spray will add around 75,000 new customers to Telenor’s group total. Spray also has around 70,000 narrowband users and 45,000 telephony service users. At the end of June 2006 Bredbandsbolaget had an 18.74% share of the Swedish retail broadband market, behind TeliaSonera with 38.38%, whilst Glocalnet accounted for 5.48% of subscribers. Third placed broadband provider at that date was cable operator Com Hem with 14.81% of customers.