Sierra Wireless to Buy Wavecom

Sierra Wireless, a maker of networking cards for PCs and other devices, has agreed to acquire French M2M (machine-to-machine) wireless vendor Wavecom for €218 million (US$275 million).

The companies reached a memorandum of understanding on an acquisition to be carried out through separate, concurrent tender offers in France and the U.S. They expect the deal to close in the first quarter of next year.

The deal brings together two players in the growing wireless data industry that appear to have complementary products. Sierra Wireless is best known for add-on and embedded wide-area wireless modems for PCs, where it has been a significant vendor. Wavecom makes a CPU with integrated cellular capability and uses it in alarm systems, industrial control and monitoring, automotive remote diagnostics, home water meters and other products.

Sierra's offer of €8.50 per ordinary share trumped a hostile bid by Gemalto, a European digital security company that makes SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards and other products, by 21 percent, the companies said. Sierra also will buy Wavecom convertible bonds at €31.93 each.

The two companies will take advantage of synergies in product development and sales channels, and Wavecom will expand the European and Asian presence of Sierra, which is based in Richmond, British Columbia.

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