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8/25/2009
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VeriSign Sells Messaging Business For $175 Million

The domain registry firm is selling to Syniverse and continues to streamline in order to focus on Internet infrastructure and online security.

VeriSign agreed Tuesday to sell its messaging business to mobile services provider Syniverse Holdings for $175 million.

Syniverse said the deal would help it boost its advanced messaging hub, which provides SMS, MMS, voice, and e-mail services to mobile operators, third-party content creators, and enterprises. The VeriSign division will be integrated and focus on inter-carrier gateways, picture mail, premium messaging for third-parties, and enterprise mobility solutions.

As part of the deal, Syniverse will be taking on about 300 employees located in the United States, India, and Asia. The messaging business had a revenue run-rate of about $140 million over the last 12 months, and the deal is subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

"As mobile messaging volumes continue to experience double-digit growth, Syniverse will have the scale, reach and capabilities needed to provide mobile operators -- large or small -- with greater vendor choice and faster time to market for the services subscribers demand," said Tony Holcombe, president and CEO of Syniverse, in a statement. "Ultimately, the mobile consumer will benefit from more messaging services and applications."

For VeriSign, the deal is part of a larger strategy to streamline in order to focus on its core businesses of Internet infrastructure, domain registry, online security, and identity protection. The company sold another mobile messaging unit for about $65 million in February, and News Corp. purchased its Jamba/Jamster mobile content business for $200 million in 2008.

"Even under challenging economic conditions, we have continued to execute on our divestiture strategy through aligning with buyers with complementary strengths," said Mark McLaughlin, president and CEO of VeriSign, in a statement.


Find out what else is happening in the mobile messaging space with an independent analysis from InformationWeek. Download the report (registration required).

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