A key Strategic Partnership helps launch a new wireless carrier
Hansol was a spin-off from Samsung, and led by a member of the founding family. It was a leading South Korean company in paper and other basic industries, but wanted to expand into high-growth industries like electronics and telecom. It sought MobileSolve’s help to obtain advanced technologies in the U.S.
MobileSolve recommended Hansol enter into a Strategic Partnership with one of the emerging U.S. leaders in wireless technologies. The transaction should consist of a capital investment, an excluding license to the technology in Korea, and a plan for joint product development.
- MobileSolve research identified three companies with advanced wireless technology that appeared to meet the criteria for a U.S. Strategic Partner subject to due diligence.
- Omnipoint Communications of New York, became the leading candidate because they had developed an advanced wireless technology (PCS), won a â€œPioneer Preference” license for the NY area from the government, and had attracted well-known top investors.
- A Strategic Partnership was quickly concluded, as Steve Gaynor had attended Harvard with Omnipoint’s Chairman, and had previously worked with its CEO.
- Hansol made an initial cash investment in Omnipoint, and entered into a Strategic Partnership whereby Hansol licensed the technology to manufacture handsets, and agreed to cooperate on promoting Omnipoint in South Korea and other parts of Asia. This led to the development of Omnipoint into one of Korea’s major wireless carriers.
Attracting a major global company as a Strategic Partner
mPoria was a leading m-commerce solution provider in the U.S. powering more m-commerce sites than any other company. mPoria’s platform and mobile shopping portal market sold millions of products for major retailers. It sought to raise a Series A financing.
MobileSolve recommended a Strategic Partnership with an overseas company seeking access to the US that would provide capital, international relationships and prestige with large potential clients.
- A Global Search led to Sega Sammy Networks of Japan.
- Sammy Networks was a top-ranked provider of mobile games, music and entertainment in Japan. It wanted to develop a presence in the US through a relationship with a startup led by a dynamic team. It was impressed with what mPoria had built on little cash, and wanted to add a similar m-commerce capability to its business in Japan.
- The Transaction led to an initial investment of three million dollars and a strategic agreement involving the sharing of web development, marketing and platform expertise.
- mPoria raised the funds it needed, but also obtained valuable know-how and prestige from the involvement of a large Japanese company.
Strategic Partnership as a path to market entry
Index was early to the wireless Internet in Japan, and quickly became one of its leading companies, offering games and entertainment. It wanted to leverage its expertise and leading position in Japan to other countries where the wireless Internet was less mature. It engaged MobileSolve to help Index enter the U.S
MobileSolve recommended a Strategic Partnership with a mid-stage startup with strong growth prospects that would benefit from additional capital and transfer of Index’s expertise. We surveyed the market, identified several candidates, conducted due diligence, and negotiated and completed a deal with Mobliss.
- MobileSolve developed criteria for selecting a Strategic Partner, and its research identified five companies in different parts of the U.S. and Canada.
- An Index team and MobileSolve visited all five companies, and selected Mobliss of Seattle, a leader in mobile games and messaging, to negotiate the transaction.
- Negotiations were successful in forging a Strategic Partnership, then Index decided it wanted to acquire Mobliss, and a buyout was concluded.
- The transaction was generally recognized as excellent for Index, as it entered the U.S. at a got a good price with a respected team and company. MobileSolve later sold the companyâ€™s messaging assets to focus on mobile games.
Smart structuring enhanced the net proceeds to shareholders
4M Wireless was a leading provider of LTE software products, and a key element in the 4G ecosystem. The Company had built a profitable business providing its LTE protocol stack and related services to companies worldwide. It sought a larger partner to fuel its growth.
The Advisers recommended that the Company seek a sale or merger with a strategic partner that would invest in its growth and enhance its presence, particularly with large potential clients.
- A Global Search Yielded Four Bidders, two European, one Asian and one American
- Competition Was Created from the Multiple Bids, and the offer from ublox, a Swiss public company that is a global leader in positioning and wireless semiconductors, was accepted after it was substantially improved from its original proposal.
- Careful structuring allowed the shareholders to limit the capital gain tax, and thus to keep the overwhelming portion of the sale proceeds.
- The winning bid exceeded the minimum price desired by the shareholders, and consisted of almost all cash. A valuation of over six times trailing twelve months revenues was achieved. All the members of 4M Wireless’s management team accepted positions at ublox