The merger will more than double Via Net.Works' European hosting customers. Amen hosts 111K hostnames, with growth of 104 percent in 2003, while Via Net.Works hosts about 81K hostnames. The purchase of Paris-based Amen adds a "cash generating pre-paid business model" that will immediately boost the company's earnings.
Via Net.Works' shared hosting customers will be migrated onto Amen's highly-automated hosting platform, which was a major benefit of the deal. "Amen's fully-automated and scaleable end-to-end operating platform will allow us to achieve meaningful cost and operational synergies," said Via Net.Works chairman Rhett Williams.
Amen's current management will remain in place. Amen spokesman Patrick Chassany called the deal an excellent strategic fit for both companies. "The combined business is well positioned to take advantage of the growth expected in hosting and related applications over the coming years," said Chassany.
Via Net.Works, which is publicly traded on the NASDAQ market, has U.S. operations in Atlanta. The company lost $27 million in the first nine months of 2003, compared to a loss of $33.7 million in the same period in 2002. It estimates its 2003 revenues at about $70 million, with the Amen deal expected to add another $7 million in annualized revenue.
Williams said the Amen deal "marks the first significant step for VIA's pro-active acquisition program as we build on the operational improvements made during 2003 and drive for sustainable profitability and free cash flow."