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Nokia is acquiring Finland-based telecommunications software company Comptel in a cash deal worth €347 million ($371 million).
Founded out of Helsinki in 1986, Comptel develops software for Operations Support Systems (OSS), which are basically systems used by telecom service providers to help manage and configure their networks, including managing faults. Nokia says that it plans to combine Comptel’s business with its own OSS offering, analytics, and cloud infrastructure to provide an “end-to-end orchestration of complex NFV and SDN deployments,” according to a press release, thereby providing customers with a “new level of automation.”
Comptel is actually a public company, trading on the Helsinki Nasdaq OMX since 1999, and counts 800 employees in more than 30 countries. Its shares have rarely risen above €2.50 in its entire history, and most recently they’ve sat flat at around €2.35. While Comptel’s board has already greenlighted the deal, Nokia is offering a premium of around 29 percent, at €3.05 per share, to encourage shareholder approval.
“Nokia is committed to building its software business and is backing its commitment with strategic investments,” said Bhaskar Gorti, president of Nokia’s applications and analytics business group. “The timing of the Comptel purchase is important as our customers are changing the way they build and operate their networks. They are turning to software to provide more intelligence, automate more of their operations, and realize the efficiency gains that virtualization promises. We want to help them by offering one of the industry’s broadest and most advanced portfolios. Comptel helps us do that.”
Since its exit from the consumer mobile phone market a few years ago, Nokia has consisted of two core divisions — Nokia Technologies, a division that leans toward consumer-focused products, and Nokia Networks, a broadband network infrastructure business. The company has been investing heavily in the latter of late, snapping up French networking giant Alcatel-Lucent in a chunky $16.6 billion deal before going on to acquired Gainspeed, a company that specializes in Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) services for the cable industry. And back in December, Nokia bought Michigan-based network performance management company Deepfield.
Nokia’s tender offer to Comptel shareholders is expected to kick off on February 27 and last for around a month.
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