OnMobile set to sell Voxmobili for up to $26M

OnMobile Global Ltd, the country’s top mobile value-added service (VAS) company, has executed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with an unnamed buyer to sell its French subsidiary Voxmobili SA, as per a stock market disclosure.

If the proposed deal consummates, OnMobile is likely to realise an amount ranging between $23 million and $26 million for the divestment (which is around its book value), subject to escrows and other conditions customarily contracted as a part of such a deal, the disclosure revealed.

Voxmobili, which specialises in mobile telecommunication products, was acquired by OnMobile in late 2007, just a few months before the Bangalore-based company floated its IPO. The deal was valued at $30.7 million in cash (including earn-outs) besides stock worth Rs 18.6 crore or $4.6 million (at IPO issue price).

It acquired Voxmobili to expand operations to the Pacific, Australia and the United States where it provided services to Orange, Cingular, Vodafone and France Telecom.

Although OnMobile has sold a few assets in the past, this marks the first significant divestment after a series of acquisitions in the past.

Its last asset divestment was when it sold its entire stake in Kabuza Marketing to its joint venture partner Madison World, a little over a year ago.

Previously it had also sold its stake in Ver Se, a Bangalore-based mobile VAS firm incubated by OnMobile. Ver Se had launched mobile classifieds solutions for telcos, such as Jobs On Mobile, which was offered by Airtel. It then launched products related to m-commerce, web, telecom, data commerce and e-commerce.

Other acquisitions by OnMobile include ITFinity, Telisma, Dilithium Networks and Livewire Mobile.

Founded in 2000 by Mouli Raman and Arvind Rao, OnMobile offers services like content management, aggregation and distribution, voice short codes, missed call alerts, multimedia push services, mobile search, ringtones, ringback 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.

In the recent past, the firm was hit by corporate governance issues related to its co-founder and former chief Arvind Rao.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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