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Comverse acquiring amid scandal


While Comverse Technology’s former chairman and CEO remains a fugitive from federal prosecutors, the mobile multimedia software company hasn’t slowed its aggressive growth strategy. Comverse announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately held French firm Netonomy for $19 million in cash.

The acquisition of Netonomy, a vendor of self-service billing and point-of-sale solutions, would be Comverse`s third major deal in the last year, following the acquisition of Netcentrex and Kenan FX.

However, more recently, former Comverse co-founder, chairman and CEO Jacob Alexander and two other former Comverse executives were charged with securities fraud and other crimes. The FBI declared Alexander a fugitive last week, and he is believed to be in Israel, according to published reports. After he resigned from Comverse earlier this year, Alexander had been a paid consultant to the company until Comverse terminated his contract last week.

Regarding the pending Netonomy acquisition, the deal expands Comverse’s ability to address the increasing self-service needs of consumers, enterprises and retailers, according to a statement from Comverse and Netonomy. Netonomy customers include Bouygues Telecom, several Orange operators, T-Mobile U.K., Telstra and Vodafone U.K.

"Following integration of Kenan Billing solutions, this latest addition of Netonomy better positions Comverse to provide converged billing solutions enabling superior choice, convenience and control," said Zeev Bregman, CEO of Comverse, in the statement. "Our customers benefit from field-proven and scalable technology, short time to market, and an extensive, modular designed product feature set."

"Joining Comverse was a natural move," added John Ball, CEO of Netonomy. "Service providers need to accelerate the adoption of direct self-service quicker than ever to lower their cost of acquisition and service, regardless of market segment. Web access to select and change plans and features also improves customer satisfaction and loyalty while reducing operational costs."

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