As more Slovaks plug into Internet technology, outside investors are beginning to capitalise on the growing market. The most recent IT investment came on June 7 when the American Advent International and its Czech and Slovak investment partner Genesis Capital announced they had dumped $4 million into internet provider PSG, in western Slovakia's Trenčín.
Advent spokesperson Chantal Ligertwood said that her firm had selected PSG because it was "the top remaining [Slovak] independent provider, which meant we would have room to grow the company the way we wanted."
PSG representatives anticipated that the added capital would be enough to boost the firm from third into top spot among Slovakia's Internet providers. In the 10 weeks PSG had been in negotiations on the injection, it had already jumped from sixth place by acquiring the PC systems and Netax ISP firms.
But the competition disagreed that PSG had what it took. Dag Ole Storrosten, managing director of internet provider Nextra, said PSG's local focus made it irrelevant in a global market.
"Of course, for us, it will mean more of a challenge, and it's good that all the companies are building a market," Storrosten said. "However, PSG is still a small Slovak company with no means of providing high-end international services. Slovakia is still a small country, while ISP changes are increasingly on a global level. Even if you have international investors, this does not change the fact that PSG is just a local company."
But PSG general manger Peter Kozdon said that until now, money had been the one thing missing from his company, and added that with the new funds, PSG could go international. "For quick and dynamic development, capital is a must," he said. "It's always been the missing ingredient with our company."
3. Jul 2000 at 0:00 | Keith Miller