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November 29, 1999


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Eaten alive! Satyam Infoway is paying Rs 4.99 b for a grand meal of all the India World sites. Satyam Infoway Limited today announced that it is acquiring Web sites run by India World Communications Private Limited. These are the popular destinations like,, and

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Satyam Infoway Limited is an important Internet service provider and portal and e-commerce player in India.

It intends to acquire all of the outstanding shares of India World Communications for Rs 4.99 billion in a two-step cash transaction that would eventually result in the integration of India World's popular sites with Satyam Infoway's portal, Satyam Online.

Satyam Infoway has said that it has bought a 24.5 per cent stake for Rs 1.22 billion in India World.

According to an agreement, Satyam Infoway now has the option to buy the rest of India World's shares for Rs 3.76 billion provided the transaction is completed before September 2000.

The entire transaction has been valued at Rs 4.99 billion., the first commercial site from India, includes sites on subjects including cricket, food and personal finance.

Satyam, the second Indian company to sell Nasdaq traded American depositary receipts, rose a record $26, or 32.7 per cent, to 105.5 on Friday. The company has a market value of $2.23 billion.

Satyam Infoway, based in Secunderabad in South India, said in May that it aimed for more than seven-fold growth this fiscal as more Indians surf the Net.

Started last year as unit of Satyam Computer Services Limited, Satyam Infoway is India's second wholly owned Internet company without government ties.

In an interview in May, Managing Director R Ramaraj had said Satyam Infoway had 40,000 subscribers at the end of April and was adding 10,000 to 15,000 more every month.

Ramaraj told reporters this evening that India World is a perfect fit for Satyam Infoway.

He claimed "Satyam Online is already a very popular portal in India with focus on purposeful browsing and e-commerce. The joint venture with Bank of Madura is focussed on providing financial services and e-commerce to overseas audiences with an India interest. India World, with its dominant audience overseas, would provide that perfect fit to make Satyam the portal of choice for India."

The Satyam Online portal, which includes several popular sites such as, and, is focussed on providing content and facilitating e-commerce services primarily to Indians resident in India.

The portal registered an aggregate of 13 million page views in October 1999, a substantial part coming from within India, making it one of the leading portal networks dedicated to serving the needs of Indians in India.

India World's sites, very popular with overseas Indians worldwide, include (covering India related news), (dedicated to covering cricket), (an Indian search engine), (an Indian recipes resource) and various other sites focussing on niche areas of interest to overseas Indians.

India World's sites registered an aggregate of 13 million page views in October 1999, most coming from outside India.

Rajesh Jain, managing director, India World, said: "India World, a pioneer with over four years of history, has secured a unique position with overseas Indians. Satyam Infoway has created a portal business with a strong focus on audience within India. The combined portal would be an undisputed leader in providing content and services over the Internet to India interest audiences globally."

B Ramalinga Raju, chairman of Satyam Infoway, said: "This is truly a momentous event in the history of the Internet in India. I am very pleased that the Satyam Infoway team has made an important strategic move that fortifies its leadership position."

Hemendra Kothari, chairman of DSP Merrill Lynch, who advised India World on the transaction, said "This transaction represents a win-win situation for both parties. While being the largest transaction of its kind from India, I am particularly pleased that it heralds the recognition of Internet entrepreneurship in India, similar to the huge phenomenon witnessed in the Silicon Valley. We are happy to have played a role in combining two complementary business models into what we believe would be the leading portal of India."


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