LONDON – Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has agreed to acquire IMEC spin-off company M4S NV, from Option NV, a supplier of wireless broadband equipment, subsystems and software.
M4S was spun off from IMEC (Leuven, Belgium) in 2006 to commercialize IMEC's Scaldio scalable radio transceiver for use in software-defined radio. M4S (Leuven, Belgium) subsequently tried to raise funds but eventually became a subsidiary of USB dongle and data card supplier Option NV (Leuven, Belgium).
Huawei (Bantian, China) is acquiring all of M4S as part of a cooperation agreement with Option to develop mobile broadband technology for Europe, the company said. The purchase price was 8 million euro (about $10.5 million), according to Will Strauss, principal analyst with Forward Concepts (Tempe, Ariz.).
"The signing of this agreement concludes the process of finding an industrial partner for M4S we initiated earlier this year. M4S will benefit from Huawei's vast R&D capabilities and be in the optimal environment to spearhead the industry with the most innovative 4G chipset solutions," said Jan Callewaert, CEO of Option, in a statement issued by Huawei. "Option for its part remains very committed to bring its own new and innovative wireless broadband solutions to the market, including newer versions of USB wireless modems, embedded modules and software and services," he added.
In the same statement Guo Ping, executive vice president and chairman of the board of Huawei Device, said: "The acquisition of M4S will enable Huawei to provide even more innovative mobile broadband devices, accelerate the commercialization of 4G services and support Europe's Digital Agenda ambition. M4S is currently working on a state-of-the-art 4G radio frequency chipset and we believe M4S' strength in the chipset field will further strengthen our network of skilled engineers, our R&D capabilities and our ability to deliver increased value to our customers."
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