The venture capital fund DBG Osteuropa- Holding has completed the sale of the Internet provider Czech On Line to the telecommunication operator Telekom Austria. Jaroslav Horák, Managing Director of DBG Eastern Europe, has informed about the transaction today.
„DBG Osteuropa- Holding signed the contract for sale of Czech On Line to Telekom Austria on April 12 of this year. The standard buyer’s audits and usual approval procedures by the anti-monopoly authorities in the Czech Republic and Austria had to be finalized before the transaction could be completed,” announced Jaroslav Horák.
The price paid for the largest domestic Internet provider has reached an impressive US$ 220 million or nearly CZK 8.5 billion. It has been so far the largest Internet related transaction in the Central / Eastern European region. The Czech Republic has thus proved to be one of the prominent European countries from the point of view of output and potentials of the ‘New Economy’. „We are glad to have made the investment in the Czech Republic. It has confirmed our view that Czech Republic has a great potential for valorization of investments into Internet business,” said Jaroslav Horák of DBG.
Czech On Line, operating under the name Video On Line, was established in 1995. It was acquired by DBG Osteuropa- Holding in August 1998. One year later it became the first Czech ISP to offer free Internet connection service under the name VOLny.cz. It was the very first business model of this kind implemented in a country where liberalization of telecommunications has not yet taken place. Czech On Line is currently the largest domestic Internet provider which, according to independent experts’ estimates, controls more than one third of the Czech market.
„We highly appreciate our collaboration with the DBG Fund. Since their acquisition of the company, Czech On Line has strengthened its position of provider of innovative Internet and telecommunication services and products. The successful introduction of free Internet access represented a milestone from the point of view of increased availability of Internet access for the Czech users,“ said Mariano Pireddu, Chief Executive Officer of Czech On Line.