As well as a pro-rata purchase of Psion's old stake in Symbain, Symbian's partners have participated in another rights issue to the value of £50 million. All of Symbian's shareholders have taken part. The Symbian split now stands at Nokia 47.9%, Ericsson 15.6%, Sony Ericsson 13.1%, Panasonic 10%, Siemens 8.4 % and Samsung 4.5%.
Mobile industry backs Symbian for mobile OS leadership (http://www.symbian.com/press-office/2004/pr040707.html)
LONDON, United Kingdom, 7th July 2004 - Symbian Software Limited today announces that its shareholders have concluded an agreement regarding Symbian’s future funding, governance and equity structure.
Symbian’s continuing shareholders reiterate their continued full support for Symbian’s strategy and objectives as an independent, for-profit company, and have provided significant further investment to ensure the long-term success of Symbian OS as the industry’s chosen technology platform for mass market, advanced phones for 2.5 and 3G networks. Shareholders have participated in a rights issue to raise £50m in additional funding for Symbian. Nokia, Panasonic, Siemens and Sony Ericsson have also agreed to participate in the pre-emption process for the purchase of Psion’s equity stake in Symbian. The process is expected to complete on 12th July 2004. In addition, Shareholders have jointly agreed to appoint an independent, non-executive Chairman to the Symbian Board.
£50m rights issue to accelerate investment in Symbian OS development to facilitate further adoption of Symbian OS as a platform for lower cost, mass market advanced phones.
Symbian’s costbase will expand from c.£70m to c.£100m per annum, with permanent employee & contractor headcount rising from c.900 to c.1,200.
Symbian's continuing shareholders will appoint an independent, non-executive Chairman to the Board. The selection process is under way and is anticipated to be completed during the latter half of the year.
The pre-emption process to determine allocation of Psion’s 31.1% equity stake amongst Shareholders has been completed; the new shareholding structure will be as detailed in the table below.
In subscribing to the rights issue and in purchasing Psion’s equity, Shareholders will invest a total of £187.7m in their shareholdings in Symbian.
Shareholder and non-shareholder Symbian OS licensees continue to expand their use of Symbian OS as a platform for advanced phones. At 30th June 2004, 34 phones and variants based on Symbian OS were being readied for market by 10 licensees. (Q2 2003 - 26 phones, 9 licensees) (see Notes to Editors for definitions).
Symbian's new shareholding structure after completion of the equity sale and rights issue will be as follows:
Prev % equity
New % equity
David Levin, CEO, Symbian said:
"Symbian and Symbian OS have today won massive endorsement from the leaders of the mobile industry. The agreement provides strong support for Symbian OS as the industry’s chosen platform for the mobile phones of the future. I am delighted with the Shareholders’ unanimous commitment to Symbian's future as an independent company. The additional investment will enable Symbian to accelerate Symbian OS development, in particular to support Symbian OS for lower cost, mass market, advanced phones for both 2.5G and 3G environments.
With 6.67m Symbian OS phones shipping in 2003 and 2.4m in the first quarter of 2004, and with 34 phones in development with 10 licensees, Symbian is the clear leader in the emerging smartphone market.
Symbian’s target is to take Symbian OS into lower cost, mass markets for advanced phones for 2.5G and particularly for the emerging 3G networks. Today’s agreement shows Symbian’s shareholders are backing Symbian to meet that challenge."
see David Levin's press conference presentation (1.97MB)
Karl-Henrik Sundström, Chief Financial Officer, Ericsson said:
"As a founder of Symbian, we are pleased that the independent future of Symbian has been secured by a broad participation among existing shareholders in the pre-emption round, the decision to appoint an independent non-executive Chairman as well as a substantial fund-raising round. Our participation in Symbian will continue with Ericsson's participation rights taken up with a substantial investment by our joint venture Sony Ericsson."
Matti Alahuhta, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Nokia said:
“Nokia has been working actively to ensure Symbian’s long term success and leadership in the global mobile OS market. Smart phones are heading towards accelerated growth and strong competition. The successful completion of pre-emption with additional funding – both of which Nokia has encouraged all Shareholders to participate in – will provide Symbian with the means to meet this next phase of growth. The broad and unified shareholder commitment shown today is the best evidence of Symbian’s ability to support demanding needs of the industry today and in the future.”
Yoshiaki Kushiki, President, Panasonic Mobile Communications Ltd., said:
“Panasonic's decision to exercise its full pre-emption rights in respect of the Psion shares evidences its firm commitment to the independence of Symbian. Maintaining such independence through a broad, balanced shareholding base is critical if the Symbian OS is to remain the de facto standard in the mobile phone industry and continue to win the support and loyalty of a broad spectrum of manufacturers and network operators.
Panasonic strongly believes that discussions regarding such pre-emption process and the new round of funding have served to deepen the mutual understanding and relationships among the shareholders, resulting in a common direction for the future of Symbian. Panasonic welcomes the co-operation of the shareholders who participated in the pre-emption process and new funding, and will continue to support Symbian.”
Dale Sohn, Vice President, Outsourcing and Alliances, Samsung Electronics, said:
“Samsung is pleased that all Symbian’s shareholders have reached a new agreement on the funding of, and shareholdings in Symbian. Samsung looks forward to continuing to work with Symbian on forthcoming 2.5G and 3G products.”
Rudi Lamprecht, Member of the Board of Siemens AG and CEO of Siemens Mobile said:
"The smartphone market is quickly growing. We estimate that by 2008 a quarter of all mobile devices sold will be smartphones. Smartphones offer the flexibility that allows the greatest variety of data applications. These applications thrive best in an open environment the way Symbian OS and its worldwide developer community is offering it. That is why Symbian and its open platform is an essential part of our smartphone strategy."
John-Peter Leesi, Chief Financial Officer Sony Ericsson said:
“We are pleased to see the broad participation of Symbian’s shareholders in the pre-emption of Psion’s shares and the Symbian rights issue. By maintaining Symbian as an independent company, we can build on the strong momentum for Symbian and facilitate further adoption of Symbian OS. For Sony Ericsson, basing our line of smartphones on Symbian OS has proven successful, as consumers, application developers and mobile operators alike are appreciative of the ease-of-use, application openness, and customization capability that Symbian-based smartphones provide.”
- Ends –
07-07-2004, 11:49 PM
Pheeew! What a relief! That adds a few more pints for October, Ewan!