Handheld device maker Palm is buying software maker Be Inc for $11m in stock. Be said it plans to sell the Palm shares and shut down after the transaction closes, which is expected to take place in the fourth quarter.
As part of the agreement, Palm will acquire intellectual property assets and engineering staff from the developer of the BeOS platform. Be currently has about 57 employees.
Jean-Louis Gassee, Be's chairman and chief executive, will stay on as a temporary adviser to help Palm integrate Be's technology once the transaction is approved by Be shareholders.
Palm chief executive Carl Yankowsksi said the technology and people from Be were highly regarded. "This move will help us expand the Palm OS platform into broader markets using Be's multimedia and internet expertise."
The transaction coincides with the departure of Alan Kessler, former president of Palm and general manager of the Palm Platform Solutions Group. Eric Benhamou, chairman of Palm, will temporarily take over his duties.
Be was founded in 1990 by the flamboyant Frenchman Gassee, a former Apple Computer executive. The company reported $480,000 in revenue and $22.3m in losses in 2000.
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