The University of Kent has sold Internet provider EUnet GB to the American company Performance Systems International for Pounds 2.94 million in cash and stock.
EUnet GB began in the 1980s as an offshoot of the university's computing laboratory and grew to a business with approximately 760 commercial customers, which in the year to July 31 1994 turned over Pounds 861,000.
Net profit for the same year was a modest Pounds 64,000.
EUnet's new owner PSINet is a leading Internet provider in the United States, with points of presence in more than 155 cities, and projected coverage of 225 cities by the end of 1995.
It provides a range of access options from high-speed modem dial-up and ISDN for teleworkers and small businesses, to dedicated high-speed circuits for corporate customers. The acquisition of EUnet gives PSINet a foothold in Europe for the first time.
The university accepted Pounds 2.5 million cash for 85 per cent of outstanding EUnet GB stock, and took the rest of its payment in PSInet shares.
Dr Timothy Mead, registrar of the university said: "We are delighted to have invested in an idea which is now realising commercial opportunities for United States, United Kingdom and European Internet activity and shall continue to watch its progress with interest."
Information on PSINet is available from its Web site at http://www.psi.net