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May 18, 2010
By Doug Allen
And the acquisitions just keep on coming for Google Inc. (GOOG). The Internet giant late Monday announced its intent to buy Global IP Solutions (GIPS), a San Francisco-based company focused on high-speed, high-quality VoIP and video over IP processing.
Google’s subsidiary, Google Acquisition Holdings Inc., has pledged to buy all GIPS shares for about $2.12 per share in cash, or around $68.2 million, stemming from GIPS’s current valuation. Google said it is paying a premium of 142.1 percent over the closing share price of GIPs stock as of Jan. 11, 2010 – that was the last day GIPS stock traded before the company announced it had a potential buyer. The cash proposal also reflects a premium of 27.5 percent over GIPS’s May 14 closing share price.
At least 90 percent of GIPS shareholders must give the transaction their thumbs-up. And Google said it doesn’t expect to need antitrust regulatory approvals.
Buying GIPS appears to give Google greater heft to build ever-broader platforms for Internet-based applications. The deal should help Google keep pace with rivals launching similar multimedia software, and position the Web colossus to compete in the burgeoning video over IP market, especially when it comes to smartphones. Rian Liebenberg, Google’s engineering director, said as much.
“The Web is evolving quickly as a development platform, and real-time video and audio communication over the Internet are becoming important new tools for users,” Liebenberg explained in a prepared statement. “GIPS’s technology provides high-quality, real-time audio and video over an IP network, and we’re looking forward to working with the GIPS team … to continue innovating for the Web platform.”
Originally headquartered in Oslo, GIPS probably is best known for developing the narrowband iLBC and wideband iSAC speech codecs. Global IP Solutions has worked mostly to improve multimedia IP performance for mobile devices, enhancing the building blocks for all-IP communications platforms. The company’s portfolio includes high-definition and super-wideband voice and notably, one-way video conferencing/chat capabilities for developers creating apps for the Apple iPhone and iPad, and the Google Android OS.
GIPS’s customer A-list includes high-profile VoIP providers and vendors such as Yahoo (for Yahoo’s Messenger video calling functionality), AOL, Nortel, Oracle, Nimbuzz, Samsung and WebEx.
Google has picked up companies along similar technology lines with its earlier purchase of VoIP startup Gizmo5 for an unconfirmed $30 million in cash, and video compression specialist On2 Technologies for $133 million.
Shares of Google were trading 1.48 percent lower at $500.46 by about noon on Tuesday.
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