"I am unaware of any such talks, and I have no idea where the media found this,"Viber Media Inc. CEO Talmon Marco told "Globes" today in response to reports that the company was in talks to be acquired by a large Asian app company for $300-400 million. Viber, which is registered in Cyprus and Las Vegas, has a small development center in Israel with a few dozen employees.
Notwithstanding the denial, sources inform ''Globes'' that Viber hired Goldman Sachs several months ago to seek a buyer for the company at a value of $500-600 million, but that no buyer had been found to date. The sources added that the company is still up for sale.
In the past, Viber kept quiet about its Israeli connection, because the company is very active in Arab countries, and apparently feared the Arab boycott. Because the company is not registered in Israel, the Israeli government will not receive any tax revenues on a sale.
Viber's app enables Internet protocol calls for free. The app became available for Windows and Mac PCs a few months ago. The app can also handle SMS and instant messaging. Viber identifies the caller's device, so that messages will not appear on every device on which the app is installed.
Viber currently has more than 200 million users in 193 countries. The app can be downloaded for iPhones, Android devices, Windows Phone, Blackberry, and Symbian operating systems.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 11, 2014
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