The Nasdaq-listed AsiaInfo Holdings has announced plans to acquire Linkage Technologies International Holdings Company Ltd., a software and IT service provider in China, for USD730 million.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2010. After the merger, the combined company will become the world's second largest telecom software provider only next to Convergys.

Under the terms of the transaction agreement, Linkage shareholders will receive USD60 million in cash and approximately 26.8 million AsiaInfo shares upon closing of the transaction. Based on the closing price of AsiaInfo's stock on December 4, 2009, the combined company would have a market value of over USD1.8 billion.

After the transaction, Linkage and AsiaInfo will own 35.8% and 64.2%, respectively, in the combined company, which will have over 8,000 employees, of which approximately 7,000 are engineers. The combined company will also have 34 patents and an additional 27 patents pending approval in China and the United States.

Steve Zhang, president and chief executive officer of AsiaInfo, said that the combined company will seek new driving forces from overseas markets in addition to developing their business in China.

Founded in 1993, AsiaInfo is one of the largest communications software service providers in China. The company listed on Nasdaq in 2000. Established in 1997, Linkage was planning to get listed in Nasdaq on December 9, 2009, but the transaction has caused the company to change its plans.


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