Nokia and Loudeye have announced that they have signed an agreement for Nokia to acquire Loudeye for approximately $60 million.
Loudeye is a global leader of digital music platforms and digital media distribution services. Under the terms of the agreement, Loudeye stockholders will receive $4.50 per share in cash for each share of Loudeye common stock.
By acquiring Loudeye, Nokia can offer consumers a comprehensive mobile music experience, including devices, applications and the ability to purchase digital music.
The multi-function mobile device will become the preferred medium for enjoying music and Nokia is leading this trend. With music optimized products like the Nokia N91 and other Nokia devices, Nokia sold more than 15 million music enabled devices in the 2nd quarter, making it the world’s largest manufacture of digital music players.
"Music is a key experience for Nokia and Nokia Nseries multimedia computers and we want to be able to offer the best fully integrated mobile music experience to our customers. Loudeye brings a number of key assets to Nokia, including a great team of people, a substantial content catalogue and a robust service platform that will help us to achieve this objective," said Anssi Vanjoki, executive vice president and general manager, Multimedia, Nokia. "People should be able to access all the music they want, anywhere, anytime and at a reasonable cost. With this acquisition, we aim to deliver that vision and a comprehensive music experience to Nokia device owners during 2007."
Loudeye operates 60 live services in over 20 countries and multiple languages across Europe and South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Loudeye aggregates rights and content from all the major labels and hundreds of independents and currently offers licensed catalog and complete media for over 1.6 million tracks.
"This agreement recognizes the key roles that Loudeye and our people play in the digital mobile music market, and reflects the power of our products, our team and our technology," said Michael Brochu, president and chief executive officer of Loudeye. "Our combined teams will deliver a comprehensive mobile music experience to Nokia device owners all over the world. With an industry leading music experience, a robust service platform, and extensive music rights, Loudeye has long been committed to delivering on the digital music needs of consumers, and we’ve built a leadership brand in the digital music marketplace".
The Nokia press office says that the Nseries multimedia computers represent the next leap forward in personal computing. The multimedia computer offers all the functionalities of a PC and many portable single purpose devices in a connected mobile device that is always with you and always connected. Because multimedia computers have a programmable operating system, people can download and install software applications. Unlike most mobile devices, this means people can add features and applications to their multimedia computers without having to buy a new device.
Tens of millions of Nokia devices have a music player and every Nokia Nseries device incorporates a music player, high memory capacity and an FM radio, as well as support for a wide range of digital music formats including MP3, M4A, AAC and WMA. With the Nokia Nseries, you can quickly and easily find and purchase music over the air and download it to your device from your music store. Or, simply drag and drop your personal music collection from your PC to your Nokia Nseries device or synchronize your recent music purchases with your PC via Bluetooth or USB cable.
The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2006. Closing of the transaction is subject to satisfaction of a number of conditions, including approval of Loudeye’s stockholders, regulatory approvals, obtaining consents from third parties to the continuation, modification, extension and/or termination of certain specified contracts, and the absence of a material adverse effect in Loudeye’s business or operations, including loss of employees, loss of customers, or failure to maintain a minimum specified cash balance, each as described in the merger agreement.
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