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BT Directories has made a bold move to bolster its position in the U.K. online directory business by acquiring Ufindus from the Scottish online services firm Iomart, the company announced today. One news outlet reported the purchase price at GBP 20 million. Ufindus, a Lancaster-based online business, had 2007 revenues of just GBP 17 million.

BT hopes the company’s portfolio of online classified and directory sites will help it build out an online portfolio to compete not only with archrival Yell, but also with the major search engines, an emerging field of local online start-ups and other traditional media.

From the press release issued today:

David Benjamin, CEO of BT Directories, said: “Ufindus will play an important role in the continued development of BT Directories’ online portfolio. Through Ufindus’ considerable expertise and experience in online classified advertising, we access further local classified product offerings, significant search traffic and new customers for this fast-growing part of our business.”

Benjamin, who joined BT from Guardian Media Group, a leading U.K. newspaper company, will give a featured presentation on Sept. 16 at TKG’s Directional Media Strategies conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

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