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CyberWorks Wins Govt Nod to Acquire 49% of India's Data Access
3/24/00 2:10:00 AM
Source: Bloomberg News
New Delhi, March 24 (Bloomberg) -- Pacific Century CyberWorks Ltd., Asia's third-largest Internet investment company, won government approval to acquire a 49 percent stake in an Indian Internet company.

Cyberworks, owned by Hong Kong-based businessman Richard Li, announced ten days back that it was awaiting a nod from the government to buy a stake in Data Access India Pvt. Ltd., a New Delhi-based Internet service provider. The government puts the total project cost at $40 million.

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''We have no first mover advantage so it's difficult to divulge plans,'' said Siddharth Ray, managing director of Data Access. ''But we intend to start services in the first half of this year and the venture will cover content, distribution and Internet gateways.''

So far, 225 companies have received licenses from the government after it opened up Internet services to private companies in 1998. Internet users in India are expected to expand 11-fold to 30 million by 2004, second only to China, according to a report by Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia.

Data Access has a category 'A' license from the Indian government that allows it to offer Internet services throughout the country.

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