Palm to Acquire Be Inc.'s Assets

Palm Inc. and Be Inc. announced they have signed an asset purchase agreement for Palm to acquire the intellectual property and technology assets of Be. Palm has also made employment offers to Be's engineering team. The purchase price is $11 million, to be paid in Palm stock, following approval from Be shareholders and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

This is the third announcement Palm has made in recent weeks in support of its Palm OS platform business. The company extended its licensing program to include ARM silicon suppliers (July 24), announced intentions to separate the Platform Solutions Group into a wholly owned subsidiary by the end of calendar 2001 (July 27), and is now augmenting its future capability in development tools, and user-centric communications, Internet and multimedia technologies.

Be Chief Executive Officer Jean-Louis Gassee will assist Palm in integrating the technology and talent through a temporary advisory relationship, effective upon closing of the transaction. He also will provide strategic advice related to the anticipated separation of the Palm Platform business from the Solutions Group. He will report to the Platform Solutions Group Committee of the Palm Board of Directors.

Palm also announced the resignation of Alan Kessler, general manager, Platform Solutions Group. Kessler, who is leaving Palm effective Aug. 17, did not disclose his plans. Eric Benhamou, chairman of the Palm Board of directors and a member of the Platform Solutions Group Committee of the board, will act as chief executive officer of the Platform Solutions Group until a permanent replacement is named.

The Platform Solutions Group develops the Palm OS platform and licenses it to makers of handheld computers including HandEra, Handspring, Sony, Symbol and Palm's Solutions Group, and smartphone makers including Kyocera and Samsung.

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