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Mobile VAS company Altruist acquires Sweden's Teligent

Chandigarh-based Altruist Group has acquired Sweden's Teligent Telecom in an all cash transaction, which would help the latter to set up a launch pad into developed markets like Europe and United States.

Altruist is picking up "almost 100 per cent stake" in Teligent Telecom, a supplier of infrastructure solutions and value-added services to telecom carriers, itss founder and CEO Dheeraj Aggarwal told techcircle. For more details on the deal value and other plans click here.

"With this acquisition, Teligent will serve as the platform for our entry into developed markets as business development from ground zero there (developed markets) is fairly tough. Teligent will start as our footprint in these market and we will look to add more services in those markets," said Aggarwal.

While Altruist has presence in Southeast Asia, Middle East and Africa, the transaction will expand its presence in Europe, North Africa and US.

Teligent Telecom was formed after a management buy-out of messaging, charging and platform business of Swedish stock exchange-listed Teligent AB. The investors in this buyout included top Ericsson executive Einar Lindquist, who also led the company as CEO till recently.

Aggarwal said that Teligent currently provides mobile VAS services of a traditional nature like voicemail and messaging. Teligent's clients include leading carriers like BT, Vodafone, Telenor, Maroc Telecom and DTMS. Teligent, which has now become a subsidiary of Altruist, will continue to operate under its own brand name, given its reputation in the market.

Altruist Group was formed in 2005 by brothers Dheeraj and Anuj Aggarwal. Altruist is involved in mobile social networking, mobile advertising, rich media content and value-added services for telecoms operator and brands.

Altruist has had a fairly aggressive inorganic strategy, with this being its fourth outright acquisition in the last four years.

In 2009, Altruist acquired Mumbai based Mobile2Win in a share swap transaction. This was followed in 2011 with the acquisition of web and mobile technology firm RelayStrategy LLC, which builds mobile applications for Android, BlackBerry and iPhone platforms. Altruist also acquired Delhi's Mobisoft Telesolutions, which runs the website Phoneytunes.com, offering  mobile wallpapers and ring tones, in 2011. It also invested seed capital in a Mumbai-based mobile gaming start-up called Vegam, for a minority stake.

Altruist competes with various VAS companies in the country such as One97 Communications, Affle, ACL Wireless, IMI Mobile, Indiatimes Mobile, ValueFirst Messaging, Comviva, OnMobile and Spice Digital.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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