15 July 2002 -- Privately held pan-European operator Interoute Telecommunications (UK) Ltd - which is majority-owned by the Sandoz Family Foundation - has acquired the principle assets of bankrupt KPNQwest's Ebone network through an agreement with its Dublin-based receivers, McStay Luby. The price was said to be about Euro15m (just 2% of the Euro645m KPNQwest paid for it less than a year ago, and much less than the Euro1bn it cost to build).
The Ebone network was shut down on 2 July after administrators failed to find a buyer. Interoute had been leasing fibre from Ebone. Interoute gains full ownership and control of high-capacity metropolitan area networks (MANs) in eight major European cities, including Paris, Frankfurt, Madrid, Zurich, London, Vienna, Milan and Amsterdam. It has also acquired backbone infrastructure connecting Munich to Vienna, Turin to Milan, and Frankfurt to Strasbourg.
Founded in 1995, Interoute already has operations connecting 45 cities in nine countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK). Interoute also operates MANs in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Rome, Zurich and Vienna.
"Acquiring Ebone's assets not only provides us with an opportunity to accelerate our strategy of deepening our network presence and connectivity in key European cities, but also enhances our ability to provide value-added network services and solutions," said executive chairman James Kinsella. "It also allows us to continue to support customers still using the Ebone network infrastructure".