LONDON Esmertec (Zurich, Switzerland) is to take a controlling interest in ESLab, a Korean company which provides software services in applications development and integrations, quality assurance and testing for embedded software used in mobile phones.
ESLab, founded in April 2004 and based in Seoul and has been an engineering partner of Esmertec since December 2004, providing software integration and porting services for customer projects.
Alain Blancquart, Chairman and CEO of Esmertec, said, “Esmertec is today one of ESLab’s largest customers and we have been very pleased with ESLab’s timely delivery of the projects and the quality of their services. With the investment in ESLab, we gain a very strong qualified team of software engineering experts to handle our present Korean customers’ needs, as well as address the needs of certain software requirements specific to Korea.”
Esmertec is taking a minority equity stake in ESLab, but with strategic and operational control, for $80,000, to be paid half in cash and half in restricted Esmertec treasury shares. Esmertec intends to acquire the remaining interest in ESLab in 2007, for a price which will be based on ESLab’s financial performance in 2006.
Earlier in February Esmertec made a strategic investment in Javaground (Irvine, California) the supplier of a suite of tools and services that enables the rapid deployment of Java games and applications across multiple models of phones and multimedia devices.
A year ago Esmertec acquired the mobile division of CoreTek Systems in China, including intellectual property, R&D and project management teams, and the sales force.
• A recent article on Mobile Handset Design Line described described how a proper balance must be struck between processing performance and voice quality in a handset.