BATM nearer Nasdaq listing after $330m buy

BATM advanced Communications, the Israel-based maker of hi-tech network switching equipment, yesterday said it had completed its $330m (£190m) purchase of Telco Systems, a US-based rival.

BATM, known as Batman to City traders, bought the company for $260.8m in cash and 960,000 new BATM shares from World Access, which provides bundled voice, data and internet services in the US and Europe.

The deal will give the London-listed group, whose customers include IBM, 3M and Lucent Technologies, access to a direct distribution and sales force in the US, the world's biggest market for telecoms services. The acquisition, which will triple BATM's revenues, is expected to pave the way for the group to obtain a Nasdaq listing.

A spokesman for BATM described the purchase as "a natural progression" for the company, which sells itself as "the traffic policeman of the data network". Financing for the group's first big acquisition was provided by share placings in November and March.

Last month, BATM reported 1999 pre-tax profits up 133 per cent at $8.45m on turnover up 49 per cent at $26.9m. Shares in the company, which transferred to the main market from the Alternative Investment Market last July, yesterday closed down 25p at 5,600p.

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