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Tuesday, 22 May, 2001, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Lycos Europe shares surge
Lycos front page
Lycos would consider takeover offers from part-owners
Shares in internet portal Lycos Europe shot up 14% on Tuesday after it said a takeover offer by Spanish internet group Terra Lycos or German media giant Bertelsmann would be seriously considered.

"As long as it is good for the company, I think it would be fine," Lycos Europe's chief executive, Christoph Mohn, told the news agency Reuters.

Lycos Europe shares peaked at about 14% on Frankfurt's stock market, before falling in the mid-afternoon to about 5% above their opening price at 1.73 euros.

Terra Lycos already owns 29.6% of Lycos Europe while Bertelsmann holds about 18.4% of the company's shares.

Two horse race

"Realistically, I think it's highly unlikely we would be bought out by anybody other than Terra Lycos or Bertelsmann. From a Terra Lycos perspective, this is one of their options," Mr Mohn said.

Terra's parent company, Spain's Telefonica, denied in April it was considering a share swap with Bertelsmann for the stake it owns in Lycos Europe, a move that would have given Terra a stake of almost 50%.

A Bertelsmann spokesman declined to comment on the possibility of a takeover.

Mr Mohn is the son of the Bertelsmann foundation's chairman Reinhard Mohn.

Lycos Europe, which says it is Europe's largest portal by sales and users, this month reported that it had halved losses in the first quarter.

It also said "it could live with" market forecasts of a 43m euro loss for the current quarter.

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See also:

14 May 01 | Business
Lycos shares leap 30%
10 May 01 | Business
Terra Lycos looks for US buy
03 Apr 01 | Business
Dot.coms debate survival strategy
23 Apr 01 | Business
UK internet use growing
01 Feb 01 | Business
Terra Lycos chiefs step down
16 May 00 | Business
Terra and Lycos tie knot
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