3i and PA Consulting announce sale of UbiNetics' testing business

23 May 2005

PA Consulting Group and 3i announce sale of UbiNetics' testing business

PA Consulting Group and 3i today announced the signing of a transaction in which Aeroflex Incorporated (Nasdaq Symbol: ARXX), a leading designer, developer and manufacturer of automated testing solutions and microelectronics for the aerospace, defence and broadband communications markets, will purchase the test and measurement division of UbiNetics, the leading wireless technology company, for £46m. A further contingent payment of 4.6% will be made if certain performance targets are met after a year.

UbiNetics is a global supplier of software and silicon IP for digital wireless terminals, driving development of 3G mobile wireless technology. Its products, services and solutions are relied upon by the world's major handset and device manufacturers, infrastructure developers and network operators. It was born out of the Wireless Technology Practice of PA Consulting, founded in 1999 as an independent venture company. Today, PA and 3i remain major shareholders in the company.

UbiNetics currently has two core businesses: a 3G terminal software development and handset modem reference design business, and 3G test and measurement solutions business. The test and measurement division being sold to Aeroflex designs and develops a range of sophisticated 3G test products used by the world's leading network equipment developers and network operators for debugging new network features, interoperability analysis and network 'stress' testing. The sale will allow UbiNetics to concentrate on its remaining 3G terminal software development business, responsible for the multimode 3G protocol stack and 3G modem reference designs, used in mobile handsets.

Jon Moynihan, Chairman of UbiNetics and Executive Chairman of PA Consulting, commented: 
"In six years, UbiNetics has grown from a 16-employee operation to a company employing over 400 people, and with a £24m turnover. Today, UbiNetics is operating at the vanguard of making 3G technology a reality for handset manufacturers, infrastructure developers, network operators and millions of consumers. UbiNetics' market leadership in 3G test and measurement equipment has inevitably attracted interest from potential buyers. The deal with Aeroflex represents an excellent return for UbiNetics shareholders and will enable UbiNetics' test business to build its market position further by integrating with Aeroflex's established test products.

Following the recent sale of Meridica (PA's drug delivery venture company) to Pfizer Inc., this transaction confirms PA's acknowledged ability to develop pioneering companies which generate jobs and growth in the UK economy, and become leaders in the highly competitive market for global technology."

Laurence Garrett, 3i Director, added: 
"We were initially attracted by UbiNetics' silicon IP expertise in 2004, which has huge potential as the 3G market continues to gain momentum. Working with the UbiNetics board, 3i looks forward to focusing on this core business and helping the company achieve international leadership in the handset and terminal technology market."

 

Notes to editors

About PA Consulting Group
PA Consulting Group is a leading management, systems and technology consulting firm. Operating worldwide in more than 35 countries, PA draws on the knowledge and experience of 3,000 people, whose skills extend from the initial generation of ideas, insights and solutions all the way through to detailed implementation. This benefits-driven approach is founded on our strength in innovation, our responsiveness to our clients' needs, and our unyielding focus on delivery. All of our work and support is based on deep sector insight and expertise, and we work across the private and public sectors, with particular strengths in financial services, energy, life sciences and healthcare, government and public services, manufacturing and telecommunications. For further information, visit www.paconsulting.com<http://www.paconsulting.com/>

About 3i
3i is a FTSE100 company and world leader in private equity and venture capital. We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital and Venture Capital and invest across Europe, in the United States and in Asia. Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business. It underpins the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders. 3i has bought into healthcare companies since the early 1980s and to date has conducted over 200 investments in this sector.www.3i.com <http://www.3i.com/>

About UbiNetics
UbiNetics is the world leader in the supply of innovative 3G, 2.5G and 2G (WCDMA/GPRS/GSM) IP solutions for chipset and terminal manufacturers, and 3G Test and Measurement equipment. Its experience in wireless technology positions the company at the centre of 3G developments. The company's WCDMA Test Mobiles, used by global 3G infrastructure manufacturers and network operators, have put UbiNetics at the centre of WCDMA interoperability testing. Products such as the SystemAT Test System for network and service verification, and the TM500 Test Mobile, now being supplied for early HSDPA trials, further strengthen this position. UbiNetics also provides 2G, 2.5G, 3G and HSDPA protocol software and physical layer IP for use by chipset and handset developers and manufacturers. ODMs can take advantage of UbiNetics' embedded modules and reference designs for 3G-enabled handsets. Using UbiNetics' considerable experience in deploying multi-mode 3G technology, chip and device manufacturers can de-risk and accelerate their product developments. Since the company was formed in 1999, UbiNetics has grown to over 400 employees with operations in Cambridge, UK, Japan and Hong Kong, with R&D facilities in Swindon, UK, Bangalore, India and Shenzhen, China. Further information about UbiNetics can be found at www.ubinetics.com<http://www.ubinetics.com/>

About Aeroflex
Aeroflex Incorporated is a global provider of high technology solutions to the aerospace, defence and broadband communications markets. The Company's diverse technologies allow it to design, develop, manufacture and market a broad range of test, measurement and microelectronic products. The Company's common stock trades on the Nasdaq National Market System under the symbol ARXX and is included in the S&P SmallCap 600 index. Additional information concerning Aeroflex Incorporated can be found on the Company's website: www.aeroflex.com <http://www.aeroflex.com/>