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CTI Acquires Ryder Systems

Ray Le Maistre
12/26/2006

CTI Group has been Christmas shopping. The Indianapolis-based provider of online billing systems announced late on December 22 that it has acquired British specialist Ryder Systems for $11 million.

The move caps a year of major M&A activity in the telecom software sector, and it means there's one less company populating the billing category of our latest report. (See Who Makes What: OSS and M&A Reshapes OSS Sector.)

CTI said the move accelerates its growth strategy by giving it technology and clients in the mobile carrier sector. Ryder, which has developed systems that enable service provides to provide their business customers with interactive and electronic billing management capabilities, counts Orange (NYSE: FTE)'s Orange SA (London/Paris: OGE), T-Mobile International AG , and Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) among its customers. (See Ryder Offers eBill and Ryder Gets Dynamic.)

CTI has developed a customer base in the North American fixed line carrier market, while Ryder's success has mainly come with European mobile operators. Ryder, which also has some major fixed line carriers as customers, announced its intention to try and break into the North American market earlier this year. (See Ryder Targets NA Billing, Ryder Wins Contract, Opal Deploys Ryder Systems, BT Mobile Uses Ryder System, and MCI Bills With Ryder.)

CTI Group counts Cox Communications Inc. , Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), and Windstream Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: WIN) among its customers.

In the nine months to September 30, CTI reported revenues of $9.5 million and a net loss of nearly $1 million, but it did record a small profit in its third quarter. CTI's share price closed at $0.26 on December 22, with news of the Ryder acquisition made public after the markets closed.

Ryder's financials are not known. CTI said Ryder's annual revenue growth rate since 2000 has been 20 percent.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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