Irish mobile software firm Púca Technologies has signed a merger agreement with Beijing software applications player Mobile-Factor, which will see Púca acquire 100pc of the company for an undisclosed sum.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD during last week’s historic trade mission to China at a formal ceremony in Shanghai.
Púca – the name comes from an Irish word meaning, appropriately, dragon – is one of Ireland’s fastest-growing technology companies ranked in Ireland’s Deloitte Fast 50 programme for the past two consecutive years. Púca is headquartered in Dublin and has offices in London.
Mobile-Factor, based in Beijing, China, is a rapidly growing Chinese provider of mobile solutions including marketing applications, employee communications solutions and business-to-business messaging applications. Its clients include Nokia, GlaxoSmithKline, Total, as well as global advertising agencies such as Saatchi, Ogilvy and Grey.
Stephane Vidaillet, Mobile-Factor’s chief executive officer, commented: “Joining a world-class group such as Púca is the ideal path to grow our business in China. Our main focus is to deliver high-quality innovative mobile solutions; Púca’s successful track record with countless global brands, combined with its proven technology and innovative tools, will help us to leapfrog our competitors and become a leader in our market in China.”
By the end of 2005 it is expected that there will be over 400 million mobile users in China, making it by far the largest mobile market in the world.
Puca managing director Eamon Hession (pictured) believes that the newly enlarged company has a significant opportunity in China. “Mobile-Factor is one of the few companies with a national capability, combined with the experience, insight and focus needed to stake a claim on market leadership in the mobile business and marketing applications arena.”
Furthermore, the additional scale and access to innovations in the Chinese market that will result from this deal will allow Púca to bring significant additional value to its European clients. “Our strategy is to continue Púca’s growth by developing and expanding strong and profitable mobile applications businesses in high growth markets.”
Hession concluded: “Mobile-Factor’s business in China is a perfect strategic fit, as it is has access to the largest and one of the fastest-growing mobile services markets in the world. Every month in China, mobile subscribers increase at a rate in excess of Ireland’s entire population! This merger gives Púca access to this exciting market.”
By John Kennedy