Purple Labs, which provides software for mobile phones, said on Wednesday that they had signed "a memorandum of understanding" to buy the mobile applications software and the software engineering team of the French supplier Sagem Mobiles for £20.5m.
Sagem software is in use in mobile phones from Sony Ericsson, Orange and Vodafone, among others. The sale by Purple Labs is linked to an announcement by Safran, the French technology group, that it is selling its Sagem Mobiles business unit to Sofinnova Partners, Purple Labs said in a statement. Sofinnova Partners is a venture capital firm and an investor in Purple Labs.
Safran will join Sofinnova as a shareholder in the new organisation, which will be called Sagem Wireless. According to the statement from Purple Labs, it had also agreed with Sagem Wireless to a multi-year licence and development agreement, and said it will provide Sagem Wireless with all the application software for its products, and "all of the software for its future 3G Linux devices based on LiMo Foundation requirements".
The company also said "both deals are expected to close by the end of this year, subject to the approval of employee representative bodies".
Last month, Purple Labs increased its presence in the LiMo Foundation and bought the browser and messaging side of Openwave's business. In January it announced the Purple Magic platform, a cheap, Linux-powered, 3G handset that could be sold to operators for less than $100 (£50).
Simon Wilkinson, Purple Labs chief executive said: "Following our recent acquisition of the Openwave browser business, the addition of this Sagem portfolio and engineering team will clearly position Purple Labs to lead the industry in creating rich user experience on mass-market devices."