EarthLink Buys E-mail Appliance Maker Cidco for $5M

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Internet service provider EarthLink said yesterday that it bought e-mail appliance manufacturer Cidco Inc. for $5 million.


EarthLink is offering Cidco stockholders 36 cents in cash for each of their outstanding Cidco common shares. The deal requires that at least 51 percent of Cidco common stock be tendered before the offer expires on Feb. 28.


EarthLink, Atlanta, said the acquisition of Cidco will add about 120,000 customers to its subscriber base and give it the ability to deliver e-mail and other Internet services to home devices other than personal computers. The Internet service provider has about 5 million subscribers.


Cidco, Morgan Hill, CA., manufactures the MailStation, a stand-alone device that plugs into a telephone line and can access e-mail. It also makes the Mivo, an e-mail access device that is available in a cordless version.


"These devices are appealing to a variety of people ranging from new Internet users and value-driven consumers to avid users who want the convenience of accessing e-mail and personalized content in other areas of their home," said Lance Weatherby, executive vice president of EarthLink's Everywhere initiative.


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