OnMobile Global promoter hikes stake to 43.5% for around $8M

OnMobile Systems Inc, a US-based holding company of India’s largest mobile VAS firm OnMobile Global, has hiked its stake in the public listed firm to 43.46 per cent by acquiring 10.16 per cent additional stake in the recently concluded voluntary open offer.

It bought back 11.9 million shares of the company for Rs 47.6 crore ($8 million) at Rs 40 a unit.

The tender offer was oversubscribed with the US-based firm managing to pick up all the shares it had intended to buy in the voluntary offer. Kotak Mahindra Capital was managing the offer.

Argo Global Capital, a venture capital firm focused on the internet and wireless communications businesses, is the single-largest investor in privately held OnMobile Systems Inc.

This development comes after the Bangalore-headquartered company saw further deterioration in its bottom-line, reporting a net loss of Rs 8.37 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2013, against net profit of Rs 20.6 crore in the year-ago period. The company has been seeing a sequential decline in margins after the acquisition  of Livewire Mobile but its other income supported the company from moving into the red in the second quarter. This cushion was not available last quarter, pulling down the firm into the red. 

Early this month, Mouli Raman, CEO and managing director of OnMobile, resigned from the post. Raman, who is also a co-founder of the firm, will continue in the CEO’s post till the management finds a replacement for him.

Founded in 2000 by Raman and Rao, OnMobile offers services like content management, aggregation and distribution, voice short codes, missed call alerts, multimedia push services, mobile search, ringtones, ring-back tones, phone backup, cloud address book, voice portals, music products, mobile radio, entertainment products like football, cricket, quizzes and gaming solutions, movies and a safety app called Help Me on Mobile.

Recently, OnMobile announced that it has agreed to sell its French subsidiary Voxmobili SA to New Jersey-headquartered Synchronoss Technologies Inc, a provider of synchronisation technology products, for $26 million. In the recent past, the firm was hit by corporate governance issues related to its co-founder Arvind Rao.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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