Tech Industry

724 Solutions buys pair of private companies

724 Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: SVNX) said Thursday it would buy ezlogin.com, a maker of Internet infrastructure tools for user-driven personalization, for about $127 million. It also inked a deal to buy YRLess Internet Corp.

Shares in 724, a Canadian-based company which makes Internet infrastructure software for financial services providers, closed at 142 1/2 Wednesday, having fallen from a peak of 240, reached shortly after the company completed its hot IPO in January.

724 Solutions will acquire all of the outstanding shares of ezlogin.com in exchange for 888,934 of its common shares. Based on the closing price of 724 Solutions' shares on March 29, 2000, the transaction will be worth about $127 million. The deal is expected to close by the end of the second quarter.

Ezlogin.com's product creates a personalized one-stop site from which users can access all of their password-protected online accounts and favorite Web-based content by entering a single ID and password.

"Financial institutions have expressed a keen interest in being capable of providing their clients with single-password access and consolidation of key financial accounts," said CEO Greg Wolfond in a press release.

724 Solutions also said Thursday it would buy Internet messaging gateway developer YRLess Internet Corp, another Canadian-based company. 724 Solutions said YRLess would help it speed-up deployment of the 724 Solutions Financial Services Platform. The agreement is worth Canadian $8.4 million over three years. That's about $5.75 million U.S. dollars based on the exchange rate at 8:50 am EST Thursday.

An initial Canadian $1.2 million will be paid in cash along with a $600,000 non-competitive agreement fee, and the remaining $6.6 million will be paid in shares at the then-current market rate over the next three years.

YRLess' YMG-2000 product -- a short messaging service (SMS) gateway for wireless carriers -- is currently licensed by Bell Mobility, Telus Mobility, and U.S. satellite network provider ORBCOMM Global. Under the deal, 724 Solutions takes full control over YRLess, and will honor these agreements.

S1 Corp. (Nasdaq: SONE), Aether Systems (Nasdaq: AETH) and Nokia (NYSE: NOK) are among 724 Solutions' competitors.


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