Startups

Fiberlink acquired by IBM for est. $200M

Founded in 1992 by Jim Sheward and Paul Russell, the company had been steadily growing, from 250 employees in 2011, 300 in 2012 and 400 today. It opened a Center City satellite office in the summer of 2012 to tap Philadelphia's talent pool.

Fiberlink CEO Jim Sheward (right) will join IBM as part of the IBM's acquisition of Fiberlink. Photo by Emma Lee for Newsworks.

Fiberlink, the Blue Bell-based mobile device management company, was acquired by IBM for an undisclosed amount, according to a release. It’s a way for IBM to expand its “bring your own device” offerings, the release said, as corporations move in that direction.

Fiberlink’s staff of 400 will join IBM, said IBM spokesman Tod Freeman. It’s not clear yet where these staffers will be located, but we’re waiting to hear back from Freeman on this.

Founded in 1992 by Jim Sheward and Paul Russell, the company had been steadily growing, from 250 employees in 2011, 300 in 2012 and 400 today. It opened a Center City satellite office in the summer of 2012 to tap Philadelphia’s talent pool, a move that was celebrated by the Nutter administration and frequently mentioned at tech-related press conferences along with other tech firms that opened offices or relocated to the city. We had heard from Fiberlink staff that the Center City offices were never fully staffed, but there’s no official confirmation of whether that was tied to active acquisition negotiations, which can last a year or more, particularly with a large company like IBM.

When asked what will become of the company’s Blue Bell and Center City offices, the company, though a spokeswoman, would only say that “the company’s official headquarters is Blue Bell” and that Fiberlink doesn’t envision any other changes at this time.

Fiberlink raised $80 million since 2000 from investors that include Technology Crossover Ventures, Goldman Sachs and Radnor’s NewSpring Ventures.

An investment banker that was not part of the deal estimates the purchase price was around $200 million, the Inquirer reported. Read the banker’s reasoning here.

Companies: Fiberlink, IBM
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