Rome-headquartered ISP Tiscali has continued its Europe-wide spending spree with the purchase of two medium-sized rivals in the UK and Germany – the two major European markets in which it is weakest.

In the UK, Tiscali agreed a price of around £36 million in stock for ic24, the internet service provider owned by media group Trinity Mirror. Its German acquisition is the internet arm of Viag Interkom, the Deutsche wireless division of British Telecommnications.

The purchase of ic24 adds a further 250,000 subscribers to its buyer’s total customer base of 4.9m. Although the details of the Viag Telekom deal are a little more hazy, Tiscali enthused that the acquisition would also add “several hundred thousand new clients.”

Including the two new purchases, Tiscali has bought fifteen other companies since January 2000, making it Europe’s second-largest ISP behind Deutsche Telekom’s T-Online. However, it has yet to become a leader in any of the sixteen markets in which it operates, something founder and chairman Renato Soru is keen to change: “We aim to become one of the three largest internet service providers in all important European markets,” he said.

Tiscali also announced that it expects to make a profit by the end of the year, a full twelve months ahead of previous predictions.

News source: Advertising Age - International Daily