Mon, Nov 20, 2000 - Page 17 News List

GigaMedia said to be interested in acquiring SeedNet

STAFF WRITER

Following Yahoo's recent acquisition of Kimo.com (奇摩站), GigaMedia Ltd (和信超媒體), an affiliate of the Koo's Group, is said to be interested in acquiring SeedNet (數位聯合).

Information about the purchase was reportedly leaked to local Chinese-language media by one of SeedNet's board members.

SeedNet's market value is likely to rise to around NT$20 billion. Therefore, GigaMedia's merging price might be at least NT$10 billion. Because of the high price of such an acquisition, the paper said that both companies may decide to swap shares in order to finalize the deal, possibly as soon as the first quarter of next year.

Nevertheless, some of SeedNet's board members were said to be unhappy with the price. Although both sides entered discussions on several occasions, a lack of consensus could put the plan on hold, the report said. SeedNet has more than 500,000 dial-up Internet users, including some 5,000 corporate users.

The Institute for Information Industry (資策會) said that the total number of Internet users in Taiwan reached 5.57 million at the end of October, up 40 percent from the same period last year. During the same period, the population of Internet customers using broadband dial-up services grew tenfold.

Since domestic Internet users are primarily concerned about the dial-up speed over subscriber rates when choosing an Internet service provider, institute analysts say that if GigaMedia can acquire Seednet, it will help GigaMedia to attract more customers.

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