Amadeus Capital Partners, the technology investor, announced today that its Belfast-based portfolio company AePONA, a global provider of telecoms software products, will merge with Appium, the Swedish-based supplier of complementary products, to create the world’s leading independent vendor of service layer products and services for telecoms operators.

As a result of this merger, telecom service providers globally will have access to a complete product set enabling them to launch new and innovative services at a fraction of the cost and time previously needed.

The new company, to be known as AePONA, will be headquartered in Belfast, with Appium’s Malmo facility continuing to serve as a development centre and regional sales office. The merged company brings together a complete portfolio of carrier grade products that bridge telecom, IT and internet realms to be marketed under AePONA’s existing Universal Service Platform (USP) banner. As well as the USP product family, the company will also continue with its strategy of bringing to market profit-generating applications enabled by the USP.

The combined company has a strong international base of telecoms operator customers, including the France Telecom/Orange Group, BT and Telefonica. AePONA also works with strategic partners such as Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Huawei, Nokia, Sun and Oracle in taking their products and solutions to market. These companies will benefit from a more complete solution offering from a single entity, and the combined portfolio gives the new company a much stronger proposition within the telecoms sector.

“There are a number of compelling reasons behind the decision to combine the strengths of AePONA and Appium” said Gilbert Little, AePONA’s Chairman. “Telecoms operators globally are set to invest heavily in this segment to satisfy the demand for rich, converged telecom services. The two companies have complementary products, customers and channels to market, and the combined entity has the scale, intellectual assets and sales and marketing fire-power fully to capitalise on this exciting market opportunity.”

Amadeus Partner, Andrea Traversone, adds: “The global telecoms service delivery platform market is worth $1.4bn today and is forecast to reach $3.2bn by 2011. This merger will deliver the product breadth and operational scale to enable AePONA to capitalise on this growing market. We have been delighted with our investment in this company which is a powerful validation of our wireless sector investment strategy.”

Advisers to the investors on the transaction were for Appium, Vinge (legal Sweden) and Cartagena Capital (corporate finance), and for AePONA, Maples and Calder (legal Ireland), Setterwalls (legal Sweden) and Centreboard Partners (corporate finance).