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5G-focused Openet sold to software firm Amdocs for €155m

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Openet founder Joe Hogan

Openet founder Joe Hogan

Openet founder Joe Hogan

The Irish telecoms technology firm Openet is to be acquired by the Nasdaq-listed giant Amdocs for €155m, according to the two companies.

It's an all-cash deal for the privately-owned Irish firm, set up by Joe Hogan 21 years ago. Openet has raised investment cash several times from a small handful of venture investors, including Balderton Capital, Softbank and Cipio Partners.

Openet had been primed early in the last decade for a stock market listing in its own right. The likes of IBM and Huawei have also previously been tipped as potential buyers of the two-decades-established Irish company.

The Irish 5G software company Openet is headed by founder and chief technology officer Joe Hogan, and CEO Niall Norton, a former Telefonica executive who joined the firm in 2005. Management and staff own 17pc of the business.

Other backers include Irish technology investor Barry Maloney's Taggia (18pc), Gerry McCrory's Cross Atlantic Capital (9pc) as well Enterprise Ireland (2pc). The biggest shareholder is Cipio Partners, a Germany based venture capital firm.

It has recorded annual revenue of approximately €60m for the last two years. Amdocs had revenue of $4.1bn in 2019.

The deal is expected to close before the end of the fourth quarter of the fiscal year.

"We have been on a 20-year journey in Openet to build a business of which we can all be proud," said Joe Hogan, Openet founder and CTO.

"In recent years, we have built new 5G products which are recognised worldwide for their innovation and modern open, cloud-native architecture. We all look forward to the combined technology strengths of Openet and Amdocs creating new opportunities for service providers at this exciting time of 5G adoption."

Openet is headquartered in Ireland with offices in the US, Malaysia and Brazil.

A statement from the two companies confirmed that the respective boards have approved the transaction "for net consideration of approximately $180m in cash which, subject to the satisfaction of the conditions to closing, is expected to be completed before the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020".

The two sides are talking up Openet's development of 5G charging, policy and cloud technologies.

"We are delighted the innovative Openet team is joining Amdocs," said Shuky Sheffer, CEO of Amdocs Management. "They bring world-class cloud-native capabilities, network pedigree, and deep 5G expertise. The Openet solutions complement our portfolio and this acquisition is part of our mission to accelerate the industry's move to the cloud."

Niall Norton, Openet CEO, also welcomed the deal.

"We are excited to join Amdocs, with whom we have been alongside at customers for many years, and help bring fast value to service providers' 5G plans," he said.

"It is truly a momentous day for Openet and for all of our stakeholders. Given the strong momentum of our business this is an optimal time to be joining Amdocs. The calibre, resources and reach of Amdocs will bring significant and widespread opportunities across each of our disciplines."

Irish Independent