Purple Labs, a software provider for mass-market mobile phones, has announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire the mobile applications suite and software engineering team of Sagem Mobiles, the French manufacturer that develops mobile phones branded by Sony Ericsson, Orange, Vodafone and other customers. The asset sale to Purple Labs is linked to an announcement by SAFRAN, a French technology group, that it is selling its Sagem Mobiles business unit to Sofinnova Partners, one of Europe's leading venture capital firms and an investor in Purple Labs. SAFRAN will join Sofinnova as a shareholder in the new entity, which will be called Sagem Wireless.
Purple Labs and Sagem Wireless also agreed to enter into a multi-year license and development agreement, whereby Purple Labs will provide Sagem Wireless with all of the application software for its products, and all of the software for its future 3G Linux devices based on LiMo Foundation requirements.
Both deals are expected to close by the end of this year, subject to the approval of employee representative bodies.
"Sagem has long been at the forefront of mobile phone innovation in Europe," said Simon Wilkinson, Purple Labs CEO. "Following our recent acquisition of the Openwave browser business, the addition of this Sagem portfolio and engineering team will clearly position Purple Labs to lead the industry in creating rich user experience on mass-market devices."
On June 30th, Purple Labs announced that it had completed a $32 million deal to acquire the Openwave mobile phone software business, which develops and markets the industry-leading browser and messaging technologies. Purple Labs now supplies mobile browser software to all of the top 5 phone manufacturers, which together produce over 80% of the world's mobile phones.
Based in Chambéry, France, Purple Labs is funded by three European venture capital firms: Sofinnova Partners, Earlybird Venture Capital, and Partners Group.