United Internet CEO on lookout for smaller buys

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 13, 2015 10:05 AM

By Georgina Prodhan

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's United Internet is on the look-out for acquisitions to expand its fiber-optic network and the business applications unit that it may list separately on the stock exchange, its chief executive told Reuters on Thursday.

United Internet, Germany's biggest DSL copper wire broadband provider after Deutsche Telekom, has spent more than a billion euros ($1.11 billion) in a year on acquisitions including a national fiber-optic network and Poland's top web-hosting firm.

Ralph Dommermuth said he would now consider deals of under 100 million euros to buy city fiber-optic nets to expand the network of Versatel, which it bought last year, and to build scale in business applications like web hosting and design.

"We will keep adding acquisitions but it won't revolutionize our business," he said in a telephone interview.

United Internet surprised the market last month by saying it may float its business applications unit on the stock exchange to enable it to raise currency for future acquisitions at higher multiples than its existing business.

Dommermuth said he had been encouraged by the successful flotations of U.S. peers such as GoDaddy, and Endurance, and said United Internet would want to keep as much as possible of Business Applications following any IPO.

($1 = 0.9003 euros)

(Editing by Jonathan Gould, Greg Mahlich)