RealTime IT News

GoAmerica Annexes Wynd Communications

National wireless Internet services provider GoAmerica Inc. Tuesday merged Wynd Communications Corp. into its operations as a wholly owned subsidiary.

Wynd's wireless instant messaging technology for people who are deaf or hard of hearing adds a unique capability to GoAmerica's mobile services.

Aaron Dobrinsky, GoAmerica president and chief executive officer, said there were three key reasons for the wireless service provider to make the acquisition.

"First, Innovative technology that will expand our total capabilities," Dobrinsky said. "Second, strong customer franchises that are expected to grow extremely rapidly and third, a strong management team that will help to build our company."

GoAmerica plans to incorporate Wynd's new wireless instant messaging technology into its Web portal. Wynd's instant messaging platform enhances both the user's experience and virtual communication capabilities over any wireless device anytime, anywhere.

Wynd owns a rapidly growing customer base of more than 4,500 subscribers. Subscriber revenues for 1999 totaled $1.4 million with a gross margin of 52 percent. The firm achieved early success with distinctive services for a largely under-served market.

According to the American Speech and Hearing Association there are 42 million Americans with varying levels of hearing and, or speech loss for whom cell phones and other telecommunications are not well suited.

By combining forces with GoAmerica, Wynd is expected to continue to be a leader in its market. With the added capabilities and resources provided by GoAmerica, Wynd can now accelerate its marketing initiatives to significantly expand its customer base.

Dobrinsky welcomed Dan Luis, Wynd's chief executive to the GoAmerica management team.

"Dan Luis brings to GoAmerica an expertise in wireless technologies and specialized markets as well as a track record for growing Wynd Communications," Dobrinsky said. "Under his leadership, Wynd's subscriber base has increased nearly 400 percent since 1998, while gross margins improved more than 100 percent. We look forward to his major contributions to all of GoAmerica's businesses."

Dan Luis, Wynd president and chief executive officer, said the merger is a solid deal for the firm on many different levels.

"Merging with GoAmerica is good for Wynd on many levels," Luis said. "Their commitment to retaining Wynd's focus will enable our management to deliver the kind of results that are possible in this market and reach Wynd's full potential. I look forward to both the opportunity and the challenge."

At the heart of the transaction is GoAmerica's issuance of 7 percent of its common stock, or 3,974,552 restricted shares of common stock to Wynd's shareholders. The shares, when issued, will be subject to a registration rights agreement.

The closing of the acquisition is subject to certain conditions, including the consent of Wynd's shareholders.