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Cogent Adds to Euro Empire

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
3/31/2004

Ethernet service provider Cogent Communications Group Inc. (Amex: COI) has further expanded its European operations by merging with holding group Symposium Omega Inc.

Symposium Omega had previously raised $19.5 million and acquired the network assets in Germany of bankrupt operator Carrier1, one of the many pan-European operators that spent hundreds of millions of dollars building a network before crashing during the industry downturn (see Carrier1 Goes Bankrupt).

Now Cogent can add the German operations to the networks it acquired in January (see Cogent Buys the Boss's Network). A spokesman for the operator says Cogent plans to add sales staff in Germany immediately and launch services across all its European territories within the coming few weeks.

The Carrier1 assets give Cogent a network covering 14 German cities, including Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Munich. [Ed. note: Dinkelsbühl is overlooked once again!]

The spokesman adds that Cogent is also looking at further acquisitions in the region, where Ethernet is becoming the go-to WAN service (see Europeans Go Crazy for Ethernet Services).

Snapping up "distressed" network assets for a fraction of their original cost has been all the rage in Europe in the past 12 to 18 months, with Interoute Telecommunications and Linx Telecom among those to have picked up some bargains (see Linx Links the Baltics and Interoute Acquires Ebone).

— Ray Le Maistre, International Editor, Boardwatch

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