VeriSign acquires wireless services provider Jamba

VeriSign Monday said it has agreed to acquire Jamba AG, a Berlin wireless content and services provider, for $273 million in cash and stock.

The acquisition is expected to close by the end of June and is subject to German regulatory approvals, VeriSign said in a statement.

Jamba will be integrated into VeriSign's Communications Services group, which provides network, database, billing and content services to thousands of wireless and wireline telecommunications, VeriSign Chairman and CEO Stratton Sclavos said. A majority of VeriSign's customers are in the U.S., including AT&T Wireless Services and SBC Communications.

Jamba's acquisition is part of VeriSign's growth strategy in Europe, Sclavos said. The German company currently provides content distribution and billing services to 13 wireless carriers in nine European countries, including U.K.'s Vodafone Group PLC, Germany's T-Mobile International AG and the Netherlands' KPN NV.

Jamba has amassed a database of more than 50,000 downloadable songs, graphics, games and applications, which are distributed to European cellular phone users through 180 content publishers, Sclavos said. "Jamba provides over 80% of the downloadable music and graphics for the Vodafone Live service," he said, adding that digital-content downloading was heating up as an industry.

Of the $273 million, VeriSign will pay to Jamba 65% in cash and 35% in stock. Approximately 300 Jamba employees will join VeriSign as part of the transaction.

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