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Last Updated: Friday, 12 May 2006, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK
Young entrepreneur pockets 61.5m
A young entrepreneur has become a multi millionaire after selling an internet business he started as a teenager.

Andrew Michael, 26, started up web technology firm Fasthosts as a sixth form project from the bedroom of his Cheltenham home, aged just 17.

Mr Michael, who owns a 75% share in the company, has sold Fasthosts for 61.5m.

Fasthosts, which provides email and other services for small companies, was snapped up by German company United Internet earlier this week.

Lavish parties

Fasthosts was set up as an A-level project by Mr Michael and his friend Alex Wilding.

After completing his A-levels, Mr Michael focused on his new business which in 2002 was listed by the Sunday Times as the second fastest growing technology company in the UK.

In 2005 the company boasted a turnover of 20m with profits of 5m.

I feel a little sad in a way as it's something I've been working on for six years, but I'm really excited to be working with United Internet
Andrew Michael, entrepreneur

He said: "I always had very high hopes for the company and I'm ambitious so I wanted Fasthosts to succeed.

"I feel a little sad in a way as it's something I've been working on for six years, but I'm really excited to be working with United Internet.

Mr Michael has become famous for the lavish Christmas parties he throws for his staff.

Acts that have entertained the workers in the past include Girls Aloud, The Sugababes, Louise Redknapp, The Darkness and TV show host Jonathan Ross.

"I feel another party coming on and this time I think we're going to try and get Robbie Williams to perform - that would be great."

He added that the sale of Fasthosts would allow him to pursue his childhood dream of owning a helicopter.




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