QXL, Ricardo Merge to Create Euro Auction Giant

BOSTON (05/16/2000) - Two of Europe's leading online auction service providers London-based PLC and Hamburg, Germany-based AG today announced an agreement to merge in a stock-swap deal valued at more than 1.1 billion euros (US$990 million).

Under the terms of the agreement, QXL will issue 42.6 ordinary shares for each Ricardo share in a transaction that values each Ricardo share at 127 euros, a 27 percent premium over yesterday's closing price of 99.5 euros, the companies said in a joint statement issued today.

Upon completion of the transaction, the combined company will be called QXL Ricardo PLC, the companies said. By combining QXL's network of auction sites in nine European languages and currencies with Ricardo's sites in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the U.K., the merger will create a pan-European auction giant with around 1.2 million registered users.

The QXL-Ricardo pact was announced ahead of today's announcement that Madrid-based ISP (Internet services provider) Terra Networks SA will acquire Waltham, Massachusetts-based Web portal provider Lycos Inc. in a $12.5 billion stock deal. [See "Terra to Buy Lycos in US$12.5B Stock Deal," May 16.], in London, can be reached at +44-208-962-700, or via the Web at, in Hamburg, Germany, can be reached at +49-40-306-35200, or at http//