Feeds

Symbian sale is for the best, says Psion

Bird in hand

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Psion is pushing ahead with the sale of its 31.1 per cent stake in Symbian, despite dissent from its shareholder Phoenix Asset Management, which urges to push for a Symbian IPO.

The disposal of Symbian by Psion will give the Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia control over the smartphone software maker.

"The board reiterates its belief that it is in the interests of Psion shareholders to sell its interest in Symbian on the terms that have been negotiated," Psion said in its response. "If approved, the transaction will realise substantial value, reduce the risk of a reduction in value, simplify the group and allow management to concentrate on its successful core mobile enterprise businesses."

Psion also noted that "there is a growing divergence of interests between those shareholders who are customers of Symbian and those who are not. This could have an adverse effect on the value that might be achieved in the future."

Psion chairman David Potter has already given an "irrevocable undertaking" to vote in favour of the disposal of his total 12 per cent shareholding in Symbian.

Yesterday, Phoenix, which owns 13.5 per cent of Psion, said it is pushing for a Symbian IPO rather than a sale to the mobile phone giant. Phoenix has acknowledged that a Symbian IPO is fraught "with greater risks and uncertainty," but has also argued that a public offering could be far more lucrative in the long term. The investment firm is also urging other Psion shareholders to vote down the proposed sale at an extraordinary general meeting on 12 March.

In February, Psion said it would sell its Symbian shares to Nokia for about £135.7m, subject to shareholder approval. The proposed sale price corresponds to about £2.10 per Symbian share, compared to the £1.45 paid per share when Psion and Nokia purchased Motorola's stake in Symbian in October 2003. The figure eventually paid for the company is likely to change depending on the number of devices containing the Symbian OS sold by licensees in 2004 and 2005.

Psion shares dropped from £0.99 to about £0.62 on the day the sale plans were first reported.

It has also been suggested that other Symbian shareholders Siemens, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony Ericsson would be unwilling to use technology owned by their biggest competitor. This is seen as the reason number two phone maker Motorola left the consortium last year.

Psion's reasons for a quick sale rather than a sit-and-wait approach to the disposal of Symbian may be due a shortage of cash at the London-based firm. The net cash figure posted in December 2003 of £17.4m posted was down from £30.1m in 2002. However, operating profits rose to £7.5m from £5.1m the previous year.

More than ten million mobile phones currently use the Symbian's software operating system. Global shipments of Symbian operating system-based phones reached 2.76 million units in the fourth quarter of 2003, up from 0.98 million units the same period a year earlier.

© ENN

Related Products
Check out the Psion & Symbian Department from The Reg mobile store

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.