Latest Metapath Software International News
Jan 15, 2014
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS; Marconi of Britain Jumps Into Wireless Market With Deal By ANDREW ROSS SORKIN Published: April 21, 2000 LONDON, April 20— Marconi P.L.C., Britain's largest telecommunications equipment maker, said today that it would acquire Metapath Software International for $618 million. The move is an effort by Marconi to push into the wireless market where it will provide support software and other services to the major wireless telephone operators. Marconi emerged from the spinoff of the military electronics assets of the General Electric Company P.L.C. last year. It had previously devoted most of its resources to the fixed-line equipment market. With the acquisition of Metapath, which provides software and support to wireless telephone operators like AT&T Wireless, Sprint PCS and Vodafone AirTouch P.L.C., Marconi is hoping to jump onto the high-growth wireless bandwagon that has helped propel valuations of companies that operate in the wireless market. ''Wireless had been the one obvious gap in Marconi's portfolio,'' said James Heal, an analyst at Commerzbank in London. ''Buying M.S.I. should give them a boost in promoting their corporate story. Wireless is the next big thing. '' Nonetheless, some analysts contend that Marconi has entered the market a little too late to benefit from the rapid growth that the wireless market has just experienced. Metapath, which is based in London and is incorporated in the United States, had considered an initial public offering, but decided instead to be bought by Marconi. The British telephone equipment maker paid $310 million in cash and $308 million in shares for Metapath. Shares of Marconi fell 8 pence today, or 1.1 percent, to 750 pence. ''I am confident the sales synergies we realize will be multiples of M.S.I. 's current revenues,'' said Lord George Simpson, chief executive of Marconi. ''M.S.I. takes Marconi further up the value chain in network services and wireless. '' With the current auction in Britain for third-generation mobile licenses in full swing, Marconi is hoping to take advantage of Metapath's systems to service the creation of the new wireless networks. Marconi has been trying to find a focus for its business for some time. It recently sold WeighTronix Inc. for $:102.5 million ($162 million). The acquisition recasts Marconi as a telecommunications company as it tries to shake free from its image as a maker of military equipment.