Intel has bought Belfast-based telecoms software firm Aepona, ending speculation about the identity of its mystery buyer.
The possibility of a deal was raised in March, when it was rumoured that the firm was being sold for as much as $120 million. The identity of the buyer was not disclosed at the time, though Intel had been seen as a front-runner.
In a statement on its website, Aepona confirmed Intel had acquired the company, but did not put a price on the deal. Aepona will be integrated into Intel, with the company promising to continue to innovate and carry out its product plans.
"The addition of Aepona's products, personnel and expertise extends Intel's capabilities in areas instrumental to building and delivering future network and cloud services across the spectrum of computing," the statement said.
Aepona employs more than 300 people in its offices in Belfast, Dublin, the US and Sri Lanka. It was co-founded by entrepreneur Gilbert Little in 1999, following the sale of his two previous telecoms companies, Aldiscon and Alpion.
Aepona developed the OneAPI technology that is used by a number of mobile carriers worldwide to launch new services at a faster pace, providing application developers with direct access to their network key assets. Aepona also launched the world's first application gateway platform based on the emerging Parlay standards in 2002. In 2003, venture capital firm Amadeus Capital Partners came on board, backing the company financially.
“Aepona is one of the most innovative wireless technology companies founded in Europe and we are proud to have been part of its development during our investment period,” said Andrea Traversone, partner at Amadeus. “I am sure the company’s technology will be key to Intel’s mobile strategy.”
In 2009, the company bought Irish-based digital payments company Valista in an all-share deal, as Aepona moved to capitalise on the emerging popularity of apps and bring revenue management and product merchandising capabilities to its product portfolio.