October 18, 2001
Internet service provider EarthLink said Thursday that it was acquiring Cidco Inc., a developer of e-mail focused Net appliances for $5 million.
EarthLink said it will offer Cidco shareholders $.36 per share. According to the agreement, a majority of Cidco common stock must be acquired by EarthLink by February 28, 2002. Shares not acquired by the tender offer are expected to be acquired in a subsequent merger transaction at the same price, the companies said.
Cidco is the developer of the Mivo e-mail appliances, which were widely available in the retail channel. This is the second time EarthLink has acquired the customers struggling Net appliance vendors. It previously took over servicing owners of Netpliance's i-opener Net appliance, although it did not acquire the company.
The companies say that Cidco's 120,000 customers will be added to EarthLink's subscriber base. The devices have retailed for as little as $99.95 and customers were required to pay monthly access fees to Cidco of as little as $9.95.
"These (Cidco) devices are appealing to a variety of people ranging from new Internet users and value-driven consumers to avid users who want the convenience of accessing e-mail and personalized content in other areas of their home," said Lance Weatherby, executive vice president of the EarthLink Everywhere initiative.
This is a good move. Cidco gets lots of dial up numbers and earthlink gets an easy gateway into the home of the technologically disinclined.