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T-Online weathers the storm

The initial public oVering of T-Online, a German company owned primarily by Deutsche Telekom, provided some respite for a turbulent technology market when its shares climbed 39% on their Wrst day of trading.

In the world's largest internet IPO, T-Online, Europe's largest internet service provider, launched its e2.9 billion oVering on the Neuer Markt in the wake of some of Nasdaq's sharpest drops. With lead managers Dresdner Kleinwort Benson and Goldman Sachs wary of the volatility of the markets, the deal turned out to be a rare success.

Keeping in mind recent IPOs such as Lycos, World Online, and - deals one banker described as "disastrous" - the lead managers approached T-Online with extra caution. The deal was an important one for many reasons including the size of the oVering and the brand name of the issuer. T-Online is part of the T brand that includes Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobil and is "one of the best known marketing brands in Germany," according to Paul van Issum, head of equity syndicate at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson in London. The T brand saw the issue as a kick-oV for potential larger equity issues in the future.

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