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Japanese company buys PalmSource

Fri Sep 9, 2005 - 1:36 AM EDT - By James Hromadka

Another chapter ends

The writing was on the wall for PalmSource after PalmOne announced it was buying back the Palm name. PalmSource is being bought out by a Japanese company called Access, who makes software such as the NetFront web browser for mobile devices.

Discuss the news here. Below is the full press release:
TOKYO, Japan and SUNNYVALE, Calif., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ACCESS Co., Ltd., (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 4813), a global provider of mobile content delivery and Internet access software, and PalmSource, Inc. (Nasdaq: PSRC), provider of Palm OS®, a leading operating system powering next generation phones and mobile devices, today announced they have signed a definitive agreement for ACCESS to acquire PalmSource in an all-cash transaction valued at USD $18.50 per share of PalmSource common stock , or approximately USD $324.3 million (approximately ¥35.9 billion). ACCESS' USD $18.50 per share offer represents an 83% premium for PalmSource stockholders based on the market closing price of USD $10.09 on September 8, 2005.

The acquisition of PalmSource is expected to further extend ACCESS' leadership as a provider of mobile content delivery and Internet access software for mobile devices worldwide. The combination of Palm OS with ACCESS' software products is expected to give ACCESS one of the broadest lines of mobile software in the industry, as well as extend its market opportunity. With this acquisition, ACCESS gains operating system platform expertise and Linux development resources for mobile devices in the U.S., France and China.

"PalmSource is a global leader in mobile device software and the developer of the well known Palm OS operating system," said Toru Arakawa, CEO of ACCESS. "The PalmSource family of software products which run on over 39 million devices, and the PalmSource community of approximately 400,000 mobile application developers, provide an established worldwide mobile software platform. In addition, PalmSource's earlier acquisition of China MobileSoft, a developer of Linux technology, provides the foundation to promote Linux-based platforms for mobile devices. By combining ACCESS' robust NetFront browser platform and its proven business relationships with PalmSource's advanced operating system, application portfolio, user interface and developer communities, we will be able to produce a comprehensive yet flexible solution for the mobile market."

"We are very excited about joining forces with ACCESS to help create a leading provider of software for the mobile market, " said Patrick McVeigh, interim CEO of PalmSource. "We believe the customer and technology synergies of the combined companies will open up new market opportunities for both companies worldwide."

Ed Colligan, Palm, Inc. president and chief executive officer said, "Palm's award-winning user experience and application expertise, combined with ACCESS' leading software development capabilities, will allow us to continue to deliver great products for our customers. ACCESS is currently a software technology partner and we look forward to continuing our strong working relationship to advance the Palm OS® platform."

The merger agreement has been approved by the board of directors of each of ACCESS Co., Ltd. and PalmSource, Inc. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of 2005 calendar year, pending regulatory approval and the approval of PalmSource's shareholders. PalmSource plans to file a proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission and schedule the date of a special meeting of stockholders to vote on the transaction. Jefferies Broadview, a division of Jefferies & Company, Inc., acted as financial advisor to PalmSource, while Credit Suisse First Boston LLC advised ACCESS on the deal.

About PalmSource

PalmSource, Inc., the company behind Palm OS®, a leading operating system powering smart mobile devices, is a leading developer of software for mobile phones and other mobile devices. Its products include a wide range of software for mobile phones at all price points. More than 39 million mobile phones, handhelds, and other mobile devices run PalmSource software. More than 45 companies worldwide have licenses to PalmSource software, including Fossil, Garmin, GSPDA, Kyocera, Lenovo, Palm, Samsung, Sony, and Symbol Technologies. Palm OS has given rise to a large community of users, enterprises, developers and manufacturers, who together make up the Palm Powered Economy. More information about PalmSource is available at www.palmsource.com, www.palmsource.co.uk, www.palmsource.fr, www.palmsource.de, www.palmsource.com/es and www.palmsource.com.cn

About ACCESS

ACCESS is a global provider of Internet technologies to the mobile and beyond-PC markets. Its NetFront browser, widely recognized as one of the most advanced Internet browsers in the world, is a cornerstone to the company's vision of enabling Internet access anywhere and on any device. NetFront technologies are delivering full Internet browsing and related services to next-generation mobile devices and consumer electronics ranging from digital TV to automobile telematics. More information about ACCESS is available at: www.access.co.jp, www.access-us-inc.com, http://www.access-sys-eu.com and http://www.accesschina.com.cn




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