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Sybase acquires AvantGo for $38m

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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Sybase Inc has acquired leading mobile applications specialist AvantGo Inc for $38m in cash. Brian Vink, VP marketing for Dublin, California-based iAnywhere Solutions Inc, the Sybase subsidiary that will absorb Hayward, California-based AvantGo's portfolio, said the acquisition would strengthen the company's leadership position in the emerging mobile middleware market.

Specifically, the deal brings together AvantGo's pioneering mobile web technology with iAnywhere's market leading data synchronization and mobile database technology.

The combination of iAnywhere's offline/disconnected access to mobile data with AvantGo's real-time/connected expertise - although it does offer its own offline-oriented products - looks like a strong combination going forward, providing a wide range of options to businesses wanting to mobilize enterprise applications.

The $38m price iAnywhere is paying for AvantGo strongly reflects the problems the fledgling mobile middleware and applications space has found itself in over the last 12 months. Most enterprises have delayed spending on mobile and wireless initiatives, despite the rapid productivity gains the technology has often produced for more adventurous businesses. AvantGo's revenues reflect this apathy, and it has been laboring around the $5m mark for its last few quarters.

Vink believes the deal will help to drive momentum towards mobilizing the enterprise. "[AvantGo] already works with web developers and that really opens up who can develop mobile applications [using iAnywhere products]," said Vink. "Different business processes need different latencies. Pricing information [for instance] may change weekly while inventory might change hourly."

This enthusiasm for AvantGo's mobile internet skills also extends to the considerable subscriber base it has grown for its pioneering mobile internet service, which has been available to PDA users for several years now. "AvantGo brings seven million registered subscribers with My AvantGo moving two terabytes of data a day," said Vink.

AvantGo's executive officers, board members and certain affiliates holding around 25% of the company's outstanding shares have already pledged support for the takeover, which is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2003.

© ComputerWire

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