VerticalNet, BT and ICG form £140m venture

VerticalNet will be the majority shareholder in a new venture with British Telecom and Internet Capital Group that will create a £140m business-to-business Internet company, to be called VerticalNet Europe

British Telecom (quote: BT.A)said Tuesday the joint venture with VerticalNet and Internet Capital Group will set up Internet business communities across Europe enabling companies to trade information and products. As part of the deal, VerticalNet Europe and BT have also agreed to simultaneously create a British venture, VerticalNet UK.

BT also has a deal with AT&T for an Internet Protocol (IP)-based network for global electronic commerce.

BT said the company would get over $227m (£140m) in cash and assets from the three partners; the combined cash contribution of $107m in financing is one of the largest ever raised for a business-to-business Internet company.

"Within each distinct VerticalNet Web site, businesses can meet, seek and exchange information and buy and sell products and services," BT said. "The sites will contain tailored editorial content including white papers written by key sector personalities, news updates, product information, classified advertisements and job listings."

Reuters contributed to this report

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