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Sybase to acquire Extended Systems

Will pay $71.3m for middleware, big Euro customer base

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Sybase is buying mobile data synchronisation specialist Extended Systems, paying $71.3m in cash for the company's technology, 2,500-odd enterprise customers and 180 employees.

The deal values Extended's shares at $4.46 each, rather more than the $3.44 they closed at yesterday. If the deal wins the support of Extended's shareholders, not to mention regulatory authorities, the sale should be completed in Q4.

When that happens, Sybase said, it will incorporate Extended into its iAnywhere Solutions mobile enterprise software division. The company said it was interested not only in Extended's technology, which it believes will complement its existing mobile database and device management offerings, but also the smaller firm's extensive European customer base.

In addition to its mobile enterprise products, Extended has built up a business offering device technology-enabling offerings, such as its Bluetooth protocol stack, which is used in the Palm Treo 650 smart phone.

Ironically, perhaps, Palm once agreed to buy Extended, back in March 2001, for $264m - rather more than the company is worth today. Two months later, having announced a ballooning quarterly loss on a steep decline in revenue, Palm pulled out of the deal.

Since then, Extended has gone on to license its protocol stacks to the likes of Texas Instruments, NEC and Qualcomm. In May this year, it reported a Q3 FY2005 net income of $2.2m (14 cents a share) on revenues of $11.57m, up 39 per cent year on year largely on account of Qualcomm and TI deals. ®

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