PBC Investment Marks Private Equity Firm’s First Acquisition in South America; Second of Several Planned Global Investments for First Half of 2010

March 16, 2010

Los Angeles, CA – March 16, 2010 – OpenGate Capital, a global private equity firm, has acquired Philips Business Communications (PBC), a leading provider of telecommunication and data solutions in Brazil, from the global healthcare and technology enterprise Philips, for an undisclosed amount. The transaction is the first South American investment for OpenGate Capital.  OpenGate bought 100 percent of the Brazilian entity and will partner with existing management to further grow and expand PBC’s strong 40-year foothold in the telecommunications market in Brazil. Philips has divested from its other non-core telecommunications divisions.

“With a solid market position, renowned brand and a large installed base of premier customers, PBC in Brazil epitomizes a high-potential division of a world-class company, the perfect match for our investment portfolio,” commented Andrew Nikou, CEO of OpenGate Capital.  “And, PBC’s location is especially appealing. Brazil is becoming one of the world’s largest economies, ripe with acquisition possibilities for our firm and exciting untapped upside for PBC. We will continue to explore opportunistic investments throughout Latin America as we add to OpenGate’s portfolio of top-quality companies and expand our international presence.”

Headquartered in São Paolo, PBC is a preferred supplier for enterprise business solutions for the primary telecommunication operators throughout Brazil, including Telefonica, Telmex, and CTBC. PBC is also a value-added distributor of 3Com and IBM Internet Protocol (IP) telephony products and Microsoft Office Communications Server, a Unified Communications solution providing presence, instant messaging, unified conferencing and enterprise voice solutions. PBC was named the first Microsoft Gold Certified Partner in Brazil in September 2009 and is now offering these integrated voice and data solutions to its loyal customer base as a means to drive business productivity and reduce infrastructure costs.

OpenGate Partner Julien Lagrèze added, “We embrace PBC’s vision that integrated IP is the future. PBC’s hybrid telephony offerings will provide for a smooth migration to IP, innovative applications and an attractive value proposition to businesses throughout Brazil. We will collaborate with PBC’s management team and its technology partners to further execute on this vision by providing IP as a key element of PBC’s full-spectrum communications solutions.”

PBC is OpenGate’s second acquisition of a subsidiary or division from Philips. In 2006, OpenGate purchased OMMIC, another former division of Philips that specializes in the development, production and industrialization of materials, technologies and integrated circuits based on GaAs and InP. OpenGate sold OMMIC to Egalux SA Luxembourg in 2008. “OpenGate closes transactions quickly and frequently works seamlessly with existing management,” concluded Nikou. “This makes us an attractive divestiture solution for global companies such as Philips that are shedding non-core assets.”

In addition to PBC, earlier this week OpenGate Capital announced the acquisition of the popular global fashion brand NICOLE FARHI to expand its fashion, media and entertainment holdings. NICOLE FARHI and PBC will join other OpenGate portfolio companies: the iconic TVGuide Magazine; the former children’s publishing division of Le Monde, Fleurus Presse; top European modeling agency, Models1, which provides premier talent for designers such as Gucci, Prada and Giorgio Armani; and, Gabriel Ride Control Products, a leading manufacturer of specialty automotive parts throughout North America.