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New majority owner offers to buy remaining Externet shares

Birdcom Tanácsadó announced a public purchase offer for the shares of Budapest Stock Exchange (BSE)-listed telco Externet at HUF 545 per share on the website of the BSE.

Birdcom, a company owned by Géza László, the former head of Antenna Hungária and Danubius Radio, purchased a 76.83% stake in telco Externet from econet.hu earlier in June. László holds 42.7% of Birdcom, the remainder of which is owned by two other Hungarian private individuals.

Financial market supervisor PSzÁF has yet to approve the offer.

The offer is only for a tiny 0.34% of all Externet shares, as Birdcom said it had agreed with Externet's other two owners - Vivacom (12.69%) and Kraft Invest (10.14%) - to act in consent in the offer. Under their agreement, Birdcom will pay for and own the shares purchased while the other two companies would not sell their Externet shares in the offer and would keep them for another two years.

Birdcom said the price in the offer slightly exceeds the 360-day weighted average BSE price of HUF 541.6 and is far above the HUF 149.57 consolidated net-assets-per-share at the end of 2008. They used the 360-day average as there was not enough trade in Externet over the past 180 BSE sessions. Birdcom said they could not apply the price of its recent acquisition as that price is pegged to performance in the 2009 business year.

When announcing the sale of Externet in early June, econet.hu said it sold the stake for a base price of HUF 520 million, HUF 700 million in debts and a conditional 50% of Externet's 2009 EBITDA. IT company econet.hu said it sold Externet to focus on its media profile.

Externet is one of the sleeping shares on the BSE, last trading at HUF 451 on June 22. The company's share price has fluctuated between HUF 400 and HUF 699 in the last 52 weeks. (MTI –Econews)