11/23/2004 - Birdstep Technology announced that it has entered into a heads of agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of Alice Systems AB; a technology company specializing in client manager solutions favored by major European mobile operators. In line with the strategy of building its position as a premier provider of connectivity solutions to the operator market, Birdstep reached a Heads of Agreement to buy Alice Systems AB, a Venture Capital backed Swedish corporation well known among the major European operators for their solutions to help their customers connect to the available wireless and cellular networks.
“Alice Systems is a world leading provider of wireless client manager software, while Birdstep has the most advanced Mobile IP solution in today’s market,” said Jørgen Bredesen, CEO of Birdstep Technology. “Together, the companies can deliver best-in-class solutions that enable operators to improve their customer experience as they move between available networks, e.g. fixed, mobile and WLAN connections. Alice Systems extensive experience in sales and cooperation with operators will help us to meet our combined goals.”
Alice Systems and Birdstep Technology have complementary operations, both on the technology and the market side. The companies know each other well and established a commercial partnership more than a year ago. The Alice Systems client manager product makes it easy for laptop and PDA user’s when trying to use different services over various types of networks such as GSM, GPRS, iDEN, CDMA, 3G and WLAN. This means that end-users can securely access their personalized services e.g. e-mail and intranet by just “one click”. Alice Systems had 40 employees and SEK 27 million in turnover in the first three quarters of 2004. The customers include, among others, T-Mobile, TeliaSonera, Telenor, TIM, Nextel and Orange.
The addition of Alice Systems’ product range to Birdstep’s current seamless mobility products will provide Birdstep with a significantly broader solutions capability and an integrated solution addressing critical needs of operators.
“This deal will benefit Alice Systems’ existing customers by bringing new technology into the existing commercialised product”, says Anders Björkman, Chairman of Alice Systems. It will also give Alice Systems a better geographical reach and will enable shorter time to market for its new smartphone client managers. Birdstep will also benefit by positioning themselves in front of the customer earlier in the sales process. Alice’s technology provides operators with the first step towards a total seamless mobility solution. It is a mature solution with long history of meeting the commercial needs of our target customers, the leading mobile communications operators.“
The letter of intent contemplates that Alice’s shareholders will receive consideration consisting of SEK 49 million (USD 7 million) in cash and 3.1 million shares in Birdstep Technology ASA at closing. In addition, it is contemplated that the transaction consideration will include an earn-out, subject to a maximum of SEK 28 million (USD 4 million), based upon certain sales targets being met in fiscal year 2005. The contemplated transaction will be subject to execution by both parties of a final agreement following completion of their respective financial, legal and commercial due diligence. Closing is targeted for January 2005.
The Birdstep Mobile IP Client
Birdstep Intelligent Mobile IP Client supports secure and continuous connectivity between WLAN Zones (also known as guest zones or hotspots) and GSM/GPRS/UMTS/CDMA networks. This market leading client allows users to seamlessly connect and re-connect across different types of infrastructures without application downtime, security degradation or user intervention. The client also mobilizes security components based both IPSec (Checkpoint, Cisco, Nortel Contivity, Microsoft, NetScreen) and SSL VPN solutions as well as thin clients solutions such as Citrix without interruption. Recognizing the need for security in certain networks, the client triggers the security mechanisms and moves the traffic inside the existing security framework. When the user moves back to a secure environment, the client makes sure that the traffic continues to flow seamlessly, but this time without the security elements active. Such feature, which is patented by Birdstep, gives complete hassle-free mobility without requiring the user to do something except continue doing work as usual.
About Birdstep Technology
Birdstep Technology is traded on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE) under ticker \'BIRD’. The company has headquarters in Oslo and Seattle in addition to offices in Boston, Frankfurt, Cambridge, San Francisco and Shanghai. Birdstep’s small footprint, high performance database technologies combined with its wireless roaming and access software enables companies to build innovative solutions for embedded systems and the Mobile Internet. Birdstep makes your information accessible anytime, anywhere, on any device and on any infrastructure. Birdstep’s global customers and partners include Cisco (CSCO), 3Com (COMS), Alcatel (EPA), Ericsson (ERICY), Nortel Networks (NT), HP (HPQ), Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Accenture (ACN), PCTel (PCTI), Connect One and Telenor (TELN). For more information, visit www.birdstep.com.
About Alice Systems
Alice Systems’ mission is to be the leading independent provider, to mobile operators, ISPs and device manufacturers, of software-based products and services that make network and service access ubiquitous. Alice Systems’ solutions enable applications like email and web access on PCs, laptops and PDAs, to be easy to use and access, when communicating over WLAN ,fixed and 3G networks. Alice Systems provides software clients to operators and has received commercial contracts from 31 network operators worldwide including T-Mobile, Vodafone, Telenor and Nextel among others.. Alice Systems is owned by Argnor Wireless Ventures, Slottsbacken Funds and Northstream. For more information: http://www.alicesystems.com.
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