LEADING WIRELESS PROVIDER Smart Communications has agreed to buy 100 percent of Chikka Holdings Ltd., a wireless application service provider that provides instant web-based messaging services.
?The transaction is expected to be closed sometime in late December, subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions,? Smart said in a press statement Friday.
The buyout by Smart, the flagship unit of local telecommunications giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., was divulged by Chikka.com?s founder Dennis Mendiola over social networking site Twitter.
The value of the deal was not disclosed.
Chikka.com?s instant messenger service has 38 million registered users, including mobile subscribers from network operators worldwide.
Last April, Chikka expanded its range of text offerings by filing more patent applications for new technologies.
According to the company, it has 11 patent filings, 34 granted patents and more than 40 pending approval.
These patents and filings are all for mobile communications technologies spanning 24 countries.
?Chikka has invested in building a patent portfolio around methods and processes that are deemed innovative and pose huge commercial potential,? according to a Chikka executive. ?Chikka, which we launched in 2001, is one of the first, if not the first, commercially successful integration of web and mobile technologies.?
Chikka provides various wireless applications to more than 30 mobile operators in 17 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and India.
It develops not only applications for mobile devices, but also for commerce and corporate needs.