April 10, 2007 -- Speakeasy, a Seattle-based broadband firm that launched over a decade ago as one of the nation's first Internet Cafes, is being acquired by Best Buy for $97 million, the companies announced.

Under the terms of the deal, which is expected to close early next year, Speakeasy, which had $80 million in revenue last year, will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the national retail chain, the companies said.

Speakeasy, which today offers a range of IT services for small businesses, employs 300 people and has more than 40,000 customers, company officials said.

"By joining forces with Speakeasy, a company a true passion for helping entrepreneurs run their businesses, we are making technology more accessible to small businesses by creating a single source for their IT needs" Best Buy CFO Darren Jackson said in a statement.

Speakeasy ranked No. 41 on the 2003 Inc. 500 list of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. It was the second consecutive year the company appeared on the list.

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