Toronto, Canada, March 26, 2002 — Tucows Inc. (Tucows) (OTCBB: TCOW), a leading provider of Internet services to ISPs and Web hosting companies, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement for the sale of all of the outstanding shares of Liberty Registry Management Services (LibertyRMS), to Afilias Limited (Afilias), the official .INFO registry appointed by ICANN.
LibertyRMS developed and operates global registry management and administration services for top-level domain name registries including .INFO, the first EPP-based generic top-level domain (gTLD). LibertyRMS has an exclusive two-year agreement with Afilias. LibertyRMS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tucows’ wholly owned subsidiary, Tucows (Delaware) Inc. (Tucows Delaware).
Under the terms of the definitive agreement, approved by the Board of Directors of each company, Afilias will acquire all of the outstanding shares of LibertyRMS, which are currently owned by Tucows Delaware, as well as all intellectual property associated with LibertyRMS registry software owned by Tucows Delaware. The sale, which will be structured as a technology as well as a share purchase, will be subject to standard closing conditions.
Tucows and Afilias agreed to open up negotiations prior to the end of the LibertyRMS/Afilias contract as a result of current market conditions, explained Elliot Noss, president and chief executive officer, Tucows Inc. “The impact of launching the new gTLDs in a difficult economic environment has contributed to monthly volumes being well below those anticipated when Tucows put the infrastructure in place to meet the original objectives submitted to ICANN. These unexpected lower volumes pushed our profitability point beyond the first renewal cycle,” Noss continued, “and this, coupled with Afilias’ desire for more operational control, resulted in a joint decision that now would be the best time to transition the technical registry operations over to Afilias. This move is designed to enable Tucows to meet its goal of achieving profitability sooner.”
“Acquiring LibertyRMS is an important strategic step for Afilias, as it provides more operational flexibility and continues the company’s growth as a global leader in registry services,” said Hal Lubsen, chief executive officer, Afilias. “This acquisition combines LibertyRMS’ technological capabilities with Afilias’ operational, policy and leadership strengths, resulting in a robust and fully integrated Registry Services company that can respond quickly to a dynamic marketplace.”
Tucows Inc. is a leading provider of Internet services to ISPs and Web hosting companies worldwide. An ICANN-accredited registrar, Tucows provides outsourced domain name registrations for generic and country code top-level domains (TLDs), plus web certificates. Tucows also distributes software and other digital content through its integrated network of resellers. Tucows offers more than 30,000 software titles in libraries located around the world and operates search and reference media sites including Electric Library, Encyclopedia.com, and NewsDirectory.com. For more information, please visit: http://www.tucows.com.
This news release contains, in addition to historical information, forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements may include statements regarding, for example, the continued growth and success of Tucows’ business and new business relationships, the introduction of new products and services and their success, the ability to further develop and achieve commercial success for the company’s business strategy, and the deployment of the company’s resources. Such statements are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to a number of uncertainties and risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. More information about potential factors that could affect Tucows is included in the Risk Factors sections of Tucows filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements included in this news release are based on information available to Tucows as of the date of this news release, and Tucows assumes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements.
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