Belgian telcoms, Belgacom buy ISP Scarlet


BRUSSELS -- Belgian telcoms and media group Belgacom announced Friday it had bought Dutch-Belgian ISP Scarlet for 185 million euros ($270 million) on a debt and cash free basis.

Belgacom said the takeover "enters an additional market segment, optimizes its marketing positioning and enhances its multi-play offering." Scarlet offers "an international customer base of 180,000 broadband clients a variety of products with a no-frills positioning which will continue under the Scarlet brand."

Scarlet, formerly a wing of Italy's Tiscali, is estimated to have revenues of about 125 million euros ($184 million) in 2007 and an operating income before depreciation, amortization and non-recurring items of at least 18.5 million euros ($27.2 million) in 2008.

The Belgacom group, originally a phone company, is now also a mobile operator, an ISP and a cable television broadcaster. In 2006, it posted a total revenue of 6.1 billion euros ($9 billion) and an operating income before depreciation and amortization of 2.2 billion euros ($3.2 billion). It is currently locked in a court battle with rival national cable operator Telenet over the takeover of four local cable television companies.