Fronde finds buyer for Anywhere

How much is sold and who to remains unclear

After calls from Computerworld on Friday, Wellington-based service and software company Fronde Systems has announced it has made a deal to sell part of Fronde Anywhere, its mobile software and security subsidiary.

In a statement released at 5.30 on Friday, Fronde CEO Ian Clarke says Fronde has entered into a "material transaction related to a sale of a component of the business of Fronde Anywhere for settlement in October 2008".

The statement says the sale enables Fronde Anywhere to take its mobile offering world-wide and releases capital back to the business.

"In addition, the core New Zealand operations of Fronde Systems Group will continue to be engaged providing services to the purchaser," the statement says, adding that more information will be released after the transaction has closed in October.

Fronde Anywhere's major partners include IBM and Logica CMG worldwide and Radio Surveillance Group in South Africa. Fronde also has a reseller patnership with Google to sell that company's security, compliance and e-discovery products in New Zealand

Fronde recorded a $2.9 million loss for the six months ended 30 September 2007 largely due to high investments put into Fronde Anywhere, its chief executive, Ian Clarke told Computerworld in June. The company is traded on the Unlisted market.

“The investments were planned but we had also planned to have another investor at the time,” he said.

Despite returning to profit in the next half, Fronde has been seeking an investor for its Anywhere division ever since.

“We are probably not going to be the majority owner of [Fronde Anywhere],” Clarke told Computerworld. “The strategy for the rest of the group does not need to be broad enough to embrace that company.”

The strategy for the rest of the group is about being a New Zealand-focused company, delivering business technology services, he said.

Former CEO Jim Donovan resigned in October and Clarke, then general manager, took the wheel. He was formally appointed as CEO in March.

The company recorded a $700,000 profit for the six months ended 31 March.

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