Esmertec Buying Linux Mobile Software Firm Purple Labs; New Company Called Myriad

Esmertec, a Swiss developer of mobile software and traded publicly on the local exchange, is buying Purple Labs, a French supplier of Linux for mass-market 3G phones, in an all-stock deal. The deal is subject to shareholder approval As part of the deal, Esmertec is acquiring Purple Labs shares in exchange for 19.7 million of its shares, and also includes an earn-out clause of a further 4.38 million shares based on 2009 revenues. The two combined companies will be called Myriad Group AG and will continue to focus on mass market phones. The two said that Myriad will have 2009 revenue of approximately $125 million, and 800 software engineers in Europe, Asia and America.

Earlier last year Purple Labs acquired the mobile browser and messaging business of Openwave Systems (NSDQ: OPWV) for $32 million and additional stock. It also acquired the complete mobile apps portfolio of the phone manufacturer Sagem Wireless. It was backed by three European VC firms Sofinnova Partners, Earlybird Venture Capital and Partners Group. More details in release. Simon Wilkinson, currently CEO of Purple Labs, will become CEO of Myriad, and following the completion of the acquisition, Thomas Hornung, currently CEO of Esmertec, will leave the company and act as advisor for the exec team.


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