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u-blox acquires connectBlue; adds Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity


Short range radio modules bolster u-blox' "Internet of Things" strategy

Thalwil, Switzerland and Malmö, Sweden - May 19, 2014 - Swiss based u-blox (SIX:UBXN) announces the acquisition of Swedish connectBlue AB, an established provider of industrial-grade short range radio modules. These products support industry standards Bluetooth and IEEE 802.11 / Wi-Fi that enable the last hundreds of meters of connectivity between equipment and the internet.

The acquisition greatly enhances the u-blox portfolio of positioning and cellular wireless communications solutions with short range communication products. This strategic move broadens the u-blox module offering bringing within reach millions of devices connected to the internet. Key applications include industrial machine-to-machine (M2M), medical equipment, data acquisition, vehicle monitoring and asset tracking systems.

"This merger with u-blox gives our customers a rich choice of highly-reliable, industrial-grade wireless connectivity solutions to the last mile as well as to the last meter," said Rolf Nilsson, connectBlue CEO. "Our combined portfolio provides a lower-cost and more reliable alternative to cable, copper and fiber used in factories, vehicles and outdoor installations. We are excited to join forces with u-blox to help build a wireless world."

"The Internet of Things requires end-to-end connectivity to allow powerful applications to manage mission- and business-critical devices such as health monitoring and point of sales terminals, factory automation and vehicle sensors," said Thomas Seiler, u-blox CEO. "connectBlue's short range radio technology combined with our comprehensive line of cellular modems and satellite positioning receivers allow us to provide a complete communication solution for thousands of existing and future applications. We are very pleased to work with our new colleagues in Sweden to build on the deep synergies between our businesses."

Established in 2000, connectBlue has a market-proven portfolio of certified, industrial grade modules supporting popular Classic Bluetooth, Bluetooth low energy, and Wi-Fi standards. Their robust and high performance products guarantee long-term compatibility across product generations and technologies. The company has an impressive list of global customers producing medical instrumentation, equipment for industrial automation, measurement, data acquisition, and vehicle management systems.

The company has its own in-house Bluetooth stack and software drivers for Wi-Fi modules, critical intellectual property that makes its products extremely reliable in demanding applications.

connectBlue's operations in Malmö will become the new product center for short range radio. For existing connectBlue customers the current product offering will continue to be supported and further developed.

The acquisition entails purchase of 100% of the shares of connectBlue AB for an enterprise value of SEK 185 million (CHF 25 million). For the acquired business u-blox expects revenue of around CHF 9 million and an EBIT of CHF 1 million for the remainder of 2014. The guidance is updated accordingly to revenues of CHF 264 - 275 million and EBIT of CHF 35 - 39 million.

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