Looking to build its e-commerce and wireless infrastructure, content aggregator InfoSpace.com, Inc. Monday spent approximately $700 million to purchase Prio Inc., a supplier of e-commerce tools and Saraïde, a leading wireless Internet services provider in Europe, Japan and Canada.
InfoSpace.com (INSP) will exchange 2,685,000 shares of common stock for all of Prio’s outstanding shares, warrants and options.
The merger with Saraide calls for InfoSpace.com to merge Saraïde with its own wireless services and issue just under 2.4 million shares of InfoSpace.com common stock to the existing shareholders of Saraïde in a transaction to be accounted for as a purchase. InfoSpace.com will control 80 percent of the combined company with operations located throughout Europe, Japan, Canada and the United States. Both acquisitions are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2000.
With Prio’s services, InfoSpace.com said it will target and deliver online promotions to
consumers on their wireless devices or while they are looking for goods and services on Web sites. The company will also be able to offer service-based merchants such as dry cleaners,
plumbers and restaurants the ability to target and deliver online promotions that can be applied offline.
Saraide acts as a service bureau to wireless carriers and Internet content providers to deliver a wide range of mobile data services. It delivers time-sensitive, location-based, customizable and actionable information optimized for the mobile world. It was formed in 1998 as a joint venture between Nortel Networks, Microcell Telecommunications Inc., Omnipoint Communications and GSM Capital
L.P, whose investors include Aerial Communications, Deutsche Telekom, ESAT Digifone, France Telecom, Singapore Telecom, and SmarTone.
InfoSpace will leverage its new services to the list of partners already doing business with Prio and Saraïde.
“Our technology is already available to over 4 million merchants and over 30 million consumers through our existing relationships. Together, we can now turn every ‘brick and mortar’ business into a ‘click and mortar’ business,” said Ashok Narasimhan, Prio’s chairman and chief executive officer.
“Merging our leadership in providing innovative, advanced wireless Internet services with Saraide’s robust wireless network infrastructure and global alliances will enable us to deliver both
revolutionary services and premier support on a worldwide basis,” said Naveen Jain, Infospace’s chairman