Microsoft makes bid for Swedish GSM company

In an effort to further bolster its development efforts for wireless technology, Microsoft yesterday offered the shareholders of Stockholm-based Sendit AB 1.07 billion Swedish kroner ($US127.5 million). This is the Microsoft's second push into wireless portable technology this week. On Monday, it announced a $US600 million investment in the mobile phone company Nextel Communications .

In an effort to further bolster its development efforts for wireless technology, Microsoft yesterday offered the shareholders of Stockholm-based Sendit AB 1.07 billion Swedish kroner ($US127.5 million).

Microsoft has its eye on the small Swedish company because it plans to make it the core of a new research and development center for mobile wireless access to the Internet, according to a Microsoft statement.

This is the software giant's second push into wireless portable technology this week. On Monday, Microsoft announced a $US600 million investment in the mobile phone company Nextel Communications .

Sweden's Sendit specialises in Internet software for GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) operators and cell phone manufacturers. According to the company, its technology is designed to let operators offer customers e-mail access via GSM cell phones and handheld computers. Among the customers licensing the technology are Motorola, Ericsson and several phone operators including US-based Powertel, according to Sendit.

Sendit has 100 employees, most of them situated in Stockholm. The company also has sales offices in Seattle, London and Hong Kong.

The Microsoft bid is 17.8 times Sendit's net revenue for the last 12 months, according to the Microsoft statement. The offer is also 48% over the share value registered Tuesday on the Stockholm exchange, where company shares are traded, according to IDG publication ComputerSweden.

Microsoft already has a letter of intent from shareholders who own 42.9% of the shares, though 90% approval is needed, according to the company statement. If the acquisition goes though, the deal will be final in the beginning of July.

The reason for wanting to establish a research and development center in Stockholm is the strong position that the Nordic countries already have when it comes to research in mobile communication, said Mats Wennberg, head of Microsoft Nordic, in the statement.

Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, can be reached at +1-206-882-8080 or at http://www.microsoft.com/.

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