March 23, 2006
 

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Posted: 08.01.05

M&A Madness

The slow, but steady uptick of mergers and acquisitions is one way to gauge that business is getting better. Joining the fray of recent M&A activity is Dublin, Calif.-based, Sybase, which recently signed an agreement to acquire Extended Systems, the Boise, Idaho-based maker of mobile middleware. The cash transaction, valued at approximately $71.3 million, will help Sybase deliver on its vision of what it calls the “Unwired Enterprise.” The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, approval by Extended Systems’ stockholders and other specified closing conditions, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of calendar 2005. Following the closing of the proposed acquisition, Sybase intends to integrate Extended Systems into Sybase’s iAnywhere Solutions subsidiary. Founded in 1984, Extended Systems brings to Sybase its patented mobile technology, approximately 2,500 global enterprise customers, and a very strong presence in Europe. Extended Systems has about 180 employees in North America and Europe.
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By Eric Zeman




“The acquisition of Extended Systems is expected to enhance our portfolio of mobile middleware solutions and strengthen our geographic presence, particularly in Europe,” says John Chen, Sybase Chairman, President and CEO. “This acquisition will position Sybase with a powerful, end-to-end information mobility offering that, when combined with our industry leading mobile database and mobile device management products, will enable Sybase to deliver on the benefits of the Unwired Enterprise.”

Extended Systems enables enterprise organizations to streamline business processes through mobile technology. Extended Systems’ technology focuses on three key areas:
Mobile Enterprise Software includes OneBridge, a leading server-based mobile solution that provides secure mobile access for groupware and applications from a variety of mobile devices. More than 2,500 enterprise customers have utilized OneBridge.

Mobile Device Solutions are software development kits (SDKs) that enable manufacturers and partners to integrate wireless connectivity and synchronization capabilities—Bluetooth, IrDA and OMA (SyncML)—into mobile devices. Tens of millions of mobile devices have been enabled with Extended Systems’ mobile device solutions.

Database Software is primarily targeted at Delphi developers looking to create business applications that can be deployed in mobile and remote environments. Over 1,200 partners utilize Extended Systems database software.

“Extended Systems shares the Sybase vision of the Unwired Enterprise, and holds the same commitment to giving mobile users across the globe a true information edge,” said Charles W. Jepson, president and CEO, Extended Systems. “By combining our powerful technologies and global channels, Fortune500 customers worldwide will benefit from our continued innovation in mobile information management.”

Sybase’s Marty Beard notes that the unwired enterprise “is really about helping enterprise customers extend backoffice applications and processes to the edge of the network, bridging mobile devices to the backend data center. Sybase grew up around the classic database business.”

Beard also believes that enterprises are “at an inflection point. Enterprises are finally seriously thinking about how mobility is impacting their business today. A number of verticals are aggressively adopting mobile technology. Businesses know that closing the deal in real time is becoming expected, and companies that have looked at mobility as a phenomenon are wrong. The info sits in the backoffice and they need to get it out to the edge of the network. Sybase can help them do it well and do it securely. We are excited about this shift in the marketplace.”
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