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Posted 10 November 2008

UCD spin-out ChangingWorlds acquired by Amdocs for $60 Million

Amdocs, the US-quoted technology company (NYSE: DOX), and the leading provider of customer experience systems has signed a definitive agreement to acquire ChangingWorlds Ltd, a spin-out company from the UCD School of Computer Science and Informatics.

ChangingWorlds is a provider of personalization and intelligent portal solutions for mobile service providers. Under the terms of the agreement, Amdocs has agreed to acquire all of ChangingWorlds’ shares for $60 million in cash, net of cash on hand, subject to post-closing adjustments. Additional consideration may be paid later based on the achievement of certain performance metrics. The acquisition is subject to conditions customary to such transactions, and is expected to close during Amdocs’ fiscal quarter ending December 31, 2008.

ChangingWorlds’ technology, combined with the Amdocs CES portfolio, will enable better customer experiences by allowing end users to quickly get relevant information based on what they use most, making it easier to navigate the Internet on their phones and reducing the time they spend looking for content. ChangingWorlds’ technology currently addresses mobile devices, and Amdocs intends to expand the technology to three screens (mobile, PC and television) to personalize the customer experience across all touch points. ChangingWorlds and Amdocs share several customers including Sprint, the Vodafone Group and Telefonica O2.

ChangingWorlds was co-founded in 1999 by Professor Barry Smyth and Paul Cotter to commercialise their research into personalization and artificial intelligence technologies. ChangingWorlds maintains a strong strategic link with the University as its ongoing R&D activities are taking place in NovaUCD, the Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre at UCD.

“Personalization is a cornerstone of Amdocs’ strategy to offer Customer Experience Systems and ChangingWorlds is a recognized global expert in this area,” said Dov Baharav, chief executive officer of Amdocs Management Limited. “ChangingWorlds’ dynamic portal offerings surpass the traditional ‘one- size-fits- all’ approach, and no single vendor can match its range and sophistication of personalization services.”

ChangingWorlds’ patented technology automatically builds subscriber profiles based on user behaviour and usage patterns that require no user input or action to make finding relevant content faster and requiring less clicks. For example, a sports enthusiast will see the link to latest information about his favourite football team on his home page, while a classical music fan will see the link to the upcoming concerts in his area.

“Amdocs and ChangingWorlds recognise the power of the customer experience and the potential for service providers to further exploit their place in the digital value chain,” said David Moran, chief executive officer of ChangingWorlds. “Both Amdocs and ChangingWorlds will continue to aggressively execute on the shared vision of enabling service providers to offer the most compelling customer experience, to grow revenue from data services and retain customers.”
Welcoming the acquisition of ChangingWorlds, Professor Mark Keane, UCD’s Vice-President for Innovation said, “That the return to UCD from this acquisition will be re-invested in future UCD spin-out companies for the general good of the Irish economy.”

Dr Pat Frain, Director, NovaUCD speaking about the acquisition said, “The success of ChangingWorlds will be an inspiration for academic entrepreneurs who are interested in establishing new ventures to commercialise innovative ideas emerging from university research.” He added, “Such ventures are of critical importance, particularly in the present economic climate where there is an increasing need to generate opportunities for the creation of highly skilled employment.”

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UCD spin-out ChangingWorlds acquired by Amdocs for $60 Million