Direct Connection has been bought by Netscalibur, a new entrant into the European internet service provider (ISP) market.
Netscalibur is targeting the business sector, offering high-speed internet connectivity, web hosting and ecommerce solutions, and is backed by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Capital Partners and Tlom Capital Partners.
Direct Connection chief executive Ben Knox, a former journalist who founded the company back in 1988, joins the Netscalibur board and will continue to head up UK operations. Also joining the board, as non-executive director, is Adair Turner, the former director general of the Confederation of British Industry and vice chairman of merchant bank Merrill Lynch Europe.
The new operation hopes to take advantage of the demand for high-speed internet connectivity through digital subscriber line (DSL) technology, which gives net access through a phone line at speeds at least 10 times that achieved with a 56K modem.
In the UK, the company will initially resell BT's DSL service, as a number of ISPs are planning to do. Once the UK market is deregulated, however, Netscalibur plans to roll out its own in-house engineered DSL services.
In Germany, the ISP has bought backbone supplier ESIB Evolution Systems in order to roll out similar DSL services under the supervision of the former managing director of Deutsche Telekom's DSL testing, Peter Krisors. In Italy, it has acquired corporate ISP Unisource Italia.
No redundancies are being made among Direct Connection's 130 staff.
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