At Telecom'99 Phone.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: PHCM) announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the WAP products and related operations of APiON Ltd, a Belfast, Northern Ireland based telecommunications software company. This acquisition will greatly enhance Phone.com's ability to rapidly penetrate and service the GSM market consisting of over 300 network operators worldwide.
APiON is a leading European WAP software supplier with commercial relationships for delivery of WAP software to 10 GSM wireless network operators including Swisscom and Sonera. APiON has particular expertise in GSM Intelligent Networks, wireless data, and WAP technology. The acquisition further increases Phone.com's strong technical and sales presence in North America, Europe and Asia.
In connection with the acquisition, APiON shareholders will receive 1.3 million shares of Phone.com valued at approximately US$239 million as of October 8, 1999. The stock-for-stock transaction will be accounted for using purchase accounting. Closing is anticipated to occur prior to the end of October 1999. APiON's non-WAP related services business is excluded from the acquisition.
APiON's Irish facilities will form the basis of Phone.com's first product development centre outside of Silicon Valley and will also act as the support centre for carrier deployments in Europe. The combined resources of Phone.com and APiON will enable the company to provide customers with greater technical expertise and support.
"APiON adds leading European network operators to Phone.com's extensive list of GSM customers that includes Mannesmann Mobilfunk, Omnitel, Cegetel/SFR, Telstra, Sunday, and 17 others," said Alain Rossmann, Chairman and CEO of Phone.com. "The addition of over 110 experienced people, including APiON's management team, to our European organization underscores Phone.com's commitment to the global GSM market and consolidates our position as a leading supplier of WAP software."
"APiON quickly saw the potential of WAP and was pleased to be an early member of the WAP forum. With our telecom knowledge we were able to quickly develop the core components of WAP and bring them to market with operators such as Sonera and Swisscom," said APiON managing director Denis Murphy. "We have admired Phone.com's skills in co-founding the WAP Forum, in building successful customer relationships and in raising the profile of this important technology."
"We believe that consolidating the two companies will allow us to achieve immediate growth and offer better service and support to our customers," said Malcom Bird, managing director of Phone.com (Europe). "The combined companies have contractual relationships with 43 wireless network operators for either trials or commercial deployment, 31 of which are GSM operators. We believe that Phone.com is now well positioned as a first choice source for vendor-neutral, interoperable WAP software infrastructure."
Phone.com, Inc. is a leading provider of software that enables the delivery of Internet-based services to mass-market wireless telephones. Using its software, wireless subscribers have access to Internet- and corporate intranet-based services, including Email, news, stocks, weather, travel and sports. In addition, subscribers have access via their wireless telephones to network operators' intranet-based telephony services, which may include over-the-air activation, call management, billing history information, pricing plan subscription and voice message management. Phone.com is headquartered in Silicon Valley, California and has regional offices in London and Tokyo. Visit http://www.phone.com for more information.
APiON is a leading provider of infrastructure into the wireless Internet. APiON products and services allow customers, using any wireless technology, to access a wide range of Internet and advanced telephony services. APiON's underlying technologies converge IP, intelligent networking and wireless data, and position carriers for the explosion of data-based value added services expected in third generation wireless systems. APiON is headquartered in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this news release are forward-looking statements involving risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, Phone.com's limited operating history, potential fluctuations in Phone.com's operating results, uncertainties related to Phone.com's long sales cycle and reliance on a small number of customers, Phone.com's dependence on the acceptance of its products by network operators and wireless subscribers, Phone.com's ability to adequately address the rapidly-evolving market for delivery of Internet-based services through wireless telephones, the need to achieve widespread integration of Phone.com's browser in wireless telephones, competition from companies with substantially greater financial, technical, marketing and distribution resources and the ability of Phone.com to manage a complex set of engineering, marketing and distribution relationships. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in Phone.com's form 10K September 24, 1999 and in its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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