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Wireless M&A news continues frantic pace

Wireless merger-and-acquisition news appears to be reaching a frantic pitch as IQ Biometrix Inc. and Wherify Wireless Inc. announced plans to merge, MobilePro Corp. said it would buy assets of Internet service provider Crescent Communications Inc., and wireless content company SmartServ Online Inc. said it dropped its plans to acquire Mobile Airwaves Inc.

Such announcements seem to have snowballed during the past several months, with Sybase Inc., M-Qube, Square Enix and others making major purchases and mergers.

First, IQ Biometrix said it will acquire Wherify Wireless in a stock transaction, a move that will see Wherify becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of IQ Biometrix in a tax-free reorganization. IQ Biometrix said it will change its name to Wherify Wireless Inc. at the close of the deal. IQ Biometrix sells facial-recognition technology to law enforcement organizations, and Wherify sells global positioning system locator devices to parents, law enforcement agencies and others.

“Our technological breakthroughs and our network of strategic partners has made the integration of satellite positing, global tracking and two way communications both possible and affordable,” said Timothy Neher, Wherify’s president and chief executive officer. “Our merger with IQ Biometrix will accelerate our strategic plan and allow us to capitalize on their penetration of the law enforcement industry. We look forward to robust growth.”

Separately, wireless technology company MobilePro Corp. said it will acquire the ISP assets of Texas-based Crescent Communications. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. MobilePro said the deal will add more than $2 million in annualized revenue to its earnings. MobilePro has recently acquired several other Texan ISPs.

Finally, SmartServ announced it dropped plans to acquire wireless enterprise company Mobile Airwaves. In its fourth-quarter earnings announcement-which included news of sluggish revenues and significant net losses-SmartServ said its stock purchase agreement with Mobile Airwaves had expired, and it “was not pursuing the acquisition of Mobile Airwaves Inc.” SmartServ announced in December it would acquire Mobile Airwaves in exchange for $1.1 million in SmartServ stock, plus loan forgiveness of $85,000.


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