Updated from 10:18 a.m. EDT
Telecommunications software maker
plans to buy
, an Israeli maker of Internet platforms for wireless devices, in a stock deal valued at around $480 million, the companies said Wednesday.
Comverse said it would issue 5.261 million new shares to Exalink's owners and would take a one-time charge of no more than $15 million due to the transaction. Excluding that charge and amortization of stock-based compensation expenses, the deal will dilute Comverse's earnings by 4 cents a share in 2000 and by 8 cents a share next year.
Shares of Comverse fell 8 1/8, or 9%, to close at 83 1/8 Wednesday.
Paul D. Baker, a company spokesman, noted that competitors including
saw their stock prices fall Wednesday. Under the terms of the deal, the company will be responsible for stock options Exalink owes its employees, Baker said. As the options vest over the next four years, that will require Comverse to issue around 800,000 additional shares not included in the deal price, he said.
The company, originally known as
, was founded in Israel but makes its home in Woodbury, NY. Last week, it said it would buy
, another Israeli maker of Internet software, for $25.1 million.
Hampton Adams, analyst for
CIBC World Markets
, said the acquisition seems a good strategic fit and attributed the stock fall to so-called "buy on the rumor, sell on the news" trading.
"This thing had been rumored for a couple of weeks," Adams said. (He rates the stock a strong buy, and he said he is unaware of any recent underwriting his firm has performed for the company.) Failing that explanation, "for it to selloff today doesn't make a lot of sense."
On June 27, the Israeli business newspaper
reported that "Comverse Technologies beats Cisco
to buy Israeli startup eXalink after employee options settled," according to a summary of news reports published by the
news service. The financial news Web site
m reported "talks" of a $500 million stock swap on June 21.