SEOUL (08/22/2000) - NTT Communications Corp. said late Tuesday it has extended its tender offer for Internet backbone and web hosting provider Verio Inc. until midnight EDT on Monday, August 30 -- the sixth time the company has extended its offer.
NTT Communications (NTT-C), a long distance and Internet operations subsidiary of Japan's dominant and majority-government-owned carrier Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT), originally announced its bid for Verio in May this year.
Plans were put on hold in July when the U.S. government's Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) announced plans to investigate the acquisition after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raised questions over the deal.
The FBI was worried that the Japanese government, with its majority interest in NTT, would be able to gain access to information regarding wiretaps conducted on Verio customers and traffic crossing Verio's backbone, according to NTT-C sources.
CFIUS had 45 days to investigate the deal and then present its findings to U.S.
President Bill Clinton with a recommendation on whether to block or clear the deal. CFIUS recommended on August 14 that the deal be cleared, giving Clinton until August 29 to make his decision. [See "U.S. Clears NTT Acquisition of Verio," August 15.]With NTT-C's extended offer due to expire one day later, an end to the almost four-month acquisition is expected to be announced on August 31.
NTT Communications said that, as of August 21, approximately 88.6 percent of common stock in Verio it does not already own had been offered and not withdrawn. The Japanese company already owns a 10 percent slice of Verio.
NTT Communications, in Tokyo, can be found online at http://www.ntt-c.com/.
Verio, in Englewood, Colorado, is at +1-303-645-1900 or at http://www.verio.com/.