Anoto acquires 51% of Destiny Wireless

The Anoto Group, the company behind digital pen and paper technology that enables fast and reliable transmission of handwritten text and illustrations into digital format, has today agreed to buy 51% of the shares in UK based Destiny Wireless.

With net annual sales of £5 million, Destiny is one of Anoto’s most successful partners in B2B mobile data capture, delivering more than 600 solutions based on Anoto’s unique technology to 250 active customers who currently process more than 500,000 digital forms every month. This includes digital pen data, photographic images and GPS co-ordinates, with converted electronic output transmitted back to customers in close to real time.

The purchase is in line with Anoto’s ambition to secure an efficient value chain for mobile data capture in a number of sectors, including healthcare where Destiny has a strong foothold.

“Our agreement with Anoto means that we will be part of a larger organization than we are today,” said Edward Belgeonne, CEO and founder of Destiny. “This gives us opportunities to expand and develop in several sectors, and leverage our key strengths and skills in sales and marketing to the B2B mobile data capture market. Although digital pen technology represents a huge opportunity for rapid efficiency improvements, competition is increasing and new digital devices are expanding user choice. Our next generation platform, due for launch by the end of 2011, will include significant enhancements to our existing Cloud capture platform and will support digital data capture from multiple input devices – although Anoto digital pen and paper technology will remain at the heart of this flexible platform.”

“The acquisition of Destiny brings us closer to the market, granting us an enhanced understanding of our customers and their needs,” said Anoto’s CEO Torgny Hellström. “The development of digital platforms for mobile data capture based on Anoto’s technology is currently deployed across a number of smaller, often local, platform providers. This acquisition is the first step in a new strategy that allows Anoto to consolidate existing platforms and achieve efficiency measures that will generate economies of scale. It will afford us excellent opportunities for growth, which is crucial for a company like ours where a substantial part of any increase in sales will affect earnings.”

Destiny, for which Anoto will assume immediate responsibility, will be operated as a separate unit at arm’s-length, but will be consolidated into Anoto’s accounts.

The purchase price for the 51 percent, which amounts to £1.5 million, will, subject to completion, consist of a combination of cash and shares. Anoto will subscribe for £1 million worth of new shares in Destiny Wireless Ltd., being £500,000 in cash along with the issue of a credit note for £500,000. At the same time Anoto will secure £500,000 worth of Destiny shares in exchange for Anoto shares. This is made in accordance with the Board’s authorization to issue new shares approved by Anoto’s 2011 Annual General Meeting. The share component of the purchase price will be determined on the basis of the middle market quotation of the Anoto share on the OMX Nordic Stock Exchange on the average price between Signing and Completion. At today’s share price the share component represents approximately 1.5 million Anoto shares with a dilution of 1.2%.

Anoto has also acquired an option to purchase the remaining 49 percent of the shares in Destiny Wireless by 2014 at a company valuation which is the higher of twelve times profit before tax or 1.2 times revenues.

Completion of the purchase is subject to the General Meeting of Destiny Wireless Ltd. approving the transaction.