Sierra Wireless Agrees to Acquire Wavecom

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Tuesday, 02 December 2008

Sierra Wireless Agrees to Acquire Wavecom in Friendly Deal


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Combination Will Create a Global Leader in Wireless DataSierra Wireless to make an all cash offer of (euro)8.50 per ordinary.
  • Sierra Wireless to make an all cash offer of (euro)8.50 per ordinary share of Wavecom
  • Founders of Wavecom, representing 21% of Wavecom's shares outstanding, have committed to tender all their shares to the offer The combination of both firms uniquely positioned to benefit from the anticipated growth in wireless data for the mobile computing and M2M markets
  • Complementary products, geographic coverage and capabilities to drive growth and significant synergies

VANCOUVER, and PARIS, Dec. 2 /CNW/ - Sierra Wireless, Inc., (NASDAQ: SWIR - TSX: SW) ("Sierra Wireless"), a leading provider for wireless modems for mobile computing, and Wavecom S.A. (Paris: AVM - NASDAQ: WVCM) ("Wavecom"), a leading provider of embedded wireless technology for M2M (machine-to-machine) communication, announced today that the companies have reached a Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") providing for a business combination that will bring together these two industry innovators to form a global leader in wireless data. Pursuant to and subject to the terms of the MOU, Sierra Wireless will make a cash offer of (euro)8.50 per ordinary share of Wavecom, and (euro)31.93 per OCEANE convertible bond ("OCEANEs"), amounting to an aggregate purchase price of approximately (euro)218 million. The Board of Directors of Wavecom has unanimously determined that the proposed acquisition of Wavecom by Sierra Wireless is in the best interest of the Company, its employees, and, subject to consideration of a fairness opinion, its shareholders. In addition, the founders of Wavecom have committed to tender all of their shares to Sierra Wireless, representing approximately 21% of the outstanding shares, in support of the transaction. The Board of Directors has also decided to adjourn Wavecom's meeting of shareholders which was to be held on December 8, 2008.

The offer represents a premium of 21% over the offer for Wavecom shares announced by Gemalto on October 6, 2008 and a 108% premium over the share price on October 3, 2008, the last trading day prior to Gemalto's announcement of its offer. For the OCEANEs, the price represents a premium of 2% to their redemption value.

Together, Sierra Wireless and Wavecom will be a market leader in wireless data, and will be uniquely positioned to benefit from the anticipated growth in wireless data for the mobile computing and M2M markets - which are expected to grow to over 200 million units by 2012. The combined company is expected to benefit from significant competitive advantages in the marketplace:

  • Industry's most comprehensive wireless data product portfolio including PC adapters, 2G, 3G (EVDO & HSDPA) and multi-mode embedded modules, M2M terminals, software and solutions
  • Long-term relationships with mobile network operators and market-leading OEM (original equipment manufacturer) customers in key markets around the world
  • Clear leadership in advanced wireless data technology and innovation, with unparalleled research and development capabilities

"The agreement reached today between Sierra Wireless and Wavecom is a key strategic milestone for both companies. In joining forces, we are creating a global leader in wireless data," said Jason Cohenour, President and CEO of Sierra Wireless. "The acquisition of Wavecom will be the foundation of our plans to substantially expand our position in the global M2M market. Furthermore, Wavecom will significantly increase our scale and capabilities in Europe and Asia - both of which are important geographical expansion opportunities for the company. Wavecom is aligned with our growth and diversification strategy and adds many complementary capabilities. We believe this acquisition will deliver long-term strategic advantage and profitable growth."

"Sierra Wireless and Wavecom are a natural match. The two companies share similar histories and a common culture of innovation and technology leadership in wireless data. Joining with Sierra Wireless is a unique opportunity for Wavecom, its customers and employees. Together, the companies are well positioned to provide the most competitive solutions in the market and to become a global leader in wireless data," said Ronald Black, CEO, Wavecom.

Wavecom will operate as a Sierra Wireless business unit based in Paris, and the two companies will leverage synergies in product development, sales channels and complementary resources to accelerate profitable growth and product leadership in M2M embedded modules, M2M terminals, and M2M software, solutions and services. Furthermore, the addition of Wavecom's significant presence and capabilities in Europe will provide strong support to Sierra Wireless' mobile computing business in the region. Additional information regarding product, go-to-market and other integration details will be provided after the transaction is complete. Sierra Wireless expects the transaction to close in the first quarter of 2009.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 December 2008 )
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