Anite sells travel reservation business for 45 million pounds

Thu May 29, 2014 10:59am EDT

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(Reuters) - Anite Plc, which tests handset and telecom networks, said it had sold its travel reservation software business to the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group Plc to focus on its wireless business.

Anite, whose clients include Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Vodafone Group Plc, sold its travel division to LDC for 45 million pounds ($75 million) in cash.

Anite's shares rose as much as 6.5 percent on the London Stock Exchange on Thursday afternoon.

The company said the deal was debt free and 1.7 million pounds of the amount would be held in escrow subject to the resolution of certain commercial considerations.

The business accounted for about 15 percent of Anite's total revenue of 132.5 million pounds in 2013.

" ... It is a good valuation and largely as expected, but more than that it allows them to concentrate on growth opportunities in the mobile space," finnCap analyst Lorne Daniel told Reuters.

The multi-billion-dollar rollout of long-term evolution (LTE) 4G networks in China has helped boost revenues for telecoms testing companies, such as Spirent Communications Plc.

For full-year 2015, Anite's estimated profit on disposal will be about 30 million pounds, subject to the release of the 1.7 million pounds held in escrow and working capital adjustments, the company said.

Fleet, Hampshire-based Anite said it would use the proceeds from the sale to pay down its existing debt and invest further in its wireless business.

Anite's shares were trading up 2 percent at 94.75 pence at 1452 GMT.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Simon Jennings)

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