from the March 2011 issue

Corning buys wireless network MobileAccess

Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) has acquired Israeli wireless network solutions developer MobileAccess Ltd. Corning did not disclose the terms of the agreement, but market sources put the price at $150-200 million.

Mobile Access, formerly Coxcomb Wireless, was founded in 1998 as a spin-off of OnePath, and subsequently raised $60 million. The company develops distributed antenna system (DAS) solutions for wireless telecommunications coverage inside buildings. The company's customers include AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Corporation (NYSE: VZ), and Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT; DAX: DTE), as well as financial and other corporations. The company reportedly had $30-40 million revenue in 2010.

MobileAccess has undergone several reincarnations, and was on the verge of closing in 2002. At that point, it underwent a facelift, turned its focus on the North American market, and outsourced the manufacture of its products.

This is the first acquisition of an Israeli company by Corning, which has a market cap of $34 billion.

MobileAccess will be integrated into Corning Cable Systems, part of Corning's telecommunications business segment. Corning manufactures specialty glass and ceramics for keystone components for consumer electronics, mobile emissions control, telecommunications and life sciences.

Beneficiaries of the acquisition include investors Genesis Partners, Pitango Venture Capital, Poalim Ventures, and Eurofund. Poalim Ventures and Eurofund do not manage active venture capital funds. Viola Private Equity was the last investor in MobileAccess, investing $8 million a year ago.

MobileAccess CEO Ron Kaiser said, Working with Corning, a world-leading optical connectivity company, provides MobileAccess with a great opportunity to extend our strong position in the growing wireless market.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report March 2011

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