UUNET Pipex takes controlling stake in Belgium's largest ISP

 The arrangement includes a capital injection of 50 million Belgian francs to fund INnet's future business expansion. 

UUNET PIPEX has purchased a controlling, 51.8 percent share-holding in Belgium's market leading Internet Service Provider, INnet. The arrangement includes a capital injection of 50 million Belgian francs to fund INnet's future business expansion. INnet has been growing at around 10-12 percent a month, well ahead of the Benelux Internet market which has been expanding at around seven percent a month.

INnet appears to be winning market share at the expense of other ISPs and already has approximately 40 percent of the business Internet market in Belgium. INnet managing director Luc Dierckx will continue in his role, and is now joined on the board by additional directors from UUNET including Richard Heyes (UUNET PIPEX financial director) and Chris Batterham (UUNET PIPEX managing director). UUNET PIPEX retains a four year option to purchase the balance of INnet shares. This latest move consolidates a long-term relationship between INnet and UUNET PIPEX and demonstrates UUNET's commitment to planned worldwide growth through partnership and acquisition.

"INnet is an extremely attractive and successful organisation," said Chris Batterham, "and will significantly stengthen what is already the largest and most advanced worldwide Internet service provider." INnet joins an organisation that has points of presence in 745 cities around the globe. Part of UUNET Technologies, UUNET PIPEX is the leading supplier of wholesale and retail IP connections throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Its Global Transit service can be tailored to suit a wide range of needs, from simple Internet connectivity to a full turnkey solution that includes equipment sourcing and installation, on-site consultancy and training.

Luc Dierckx of INnet said: "An alliance with UUNET PIPEX, part of the biggest service provider in the world, strengthens our organisation massively and clears the way for our aggressive expansion programme. We are planning to expand activities through Benelux; installing many new points of presence and increasing bandwidth considerably to provide an even better and faster service for our customers."

Headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, UUNET Technologies, Inc. is the largest provider of a comprehensive range of Internet access options, applications, security products, World Wide Web hosting and consulting services to businesses, professionals and on-line service providers. The company's network is comprised of 745 Points of Presence (PoPs) throughout Europe, the United States and in Canada, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, as well as connections to Internet service providers around the world. Founded in 1987, UUNET is recognised as the first commercial Internet services provider worldwide. UUNET has entered into an agreement to merge with MFS Communications Company, Inc., a leading provider of communications services for business and government. UUNET's World Wide Web address is http://www.uu.net UUNET PIPEX is responsible for UUNET's business across Europe, Africa and the Middle East and currently has 17 partners and associates within this territory.