Pixelpark Grabs Cell Network/Mandator for $2.3 Billion

Germany media firm PixelPark
Wednesday jumped into the race to form Europe’s largest Internet consulting
firm, purchasing the soon-to-merge Cell Network/Mandator for 2.4 billion
euros ($2.3 billion).


The new entity will operate as Pixelpark, in which current Pixelpark
shareholders will control a majority 56.6 percent, with Cell
Network/Mandator stakeholders owning the remaining 43.4 percent. Pixelpark
will offer Cell Network/Mandator shareholders 0.1767 new shares for each
share in Mandator. Pixelpark shareholders will receive a 1:1 exchange. The
deal values the Cell/Mandator merger at 26.4 percent above its market value
as of yesterday’s closing share price.


The new company will continue to pursue the pan-European as well as the
global e-services market, and will have a presence in Germany, Scandinavia,
central Europe, the U.K., Spain, Italy, eastern Europe, and the U.S., as
well as in Asia through offices in Malaysia and Singapore.


The acquisition combines the three firms’ European incubator networks:
Pixelpark’s Venturepark, Cell Network’s Cell Innovation Europe and
Mandator’s Mandator Innovation. The three companies also expect that the
combined experience each firm has in WAP, Bluetooth, Digital TV, broadband
and embedded systems technologies will prove to be an important factor in
the new company’s success.


Paulus Neef will continue as Pixelpark’s CEO, with Cell Network chairman Jan
Carlzon and Mandator chairman Lars
O. Petterson joining the Pixelpark supervisory board.


Pixelpark’s offer will be conditional on the fulfillment of the terms of
Mandator’s acquisition Cell Network, which was announced in February. The
new company will be listed on Germany’s Neuer Markt, where Pixelpark made
its IPO in October of last year. The new Pixelpark will have a market value
of approximately 5.6 billion euros, according to a company statement.


Competition among European consultancies has been heating up over the past
few months. Information Highway/Connecta, which is also undergoing a
merger, is also expanding its base in Europe through acquisitions. This week
it picked up German consultancy berens/partner for an undisclosed amount.


Sweden’s Framfab is also pursuing the
top European consultancy spot through acquisitions, and entered the U.S.
market last month with the eBizApps.com
buy.

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