Wi-Lan set to merge

Wi-Lan.jpgWi-LAN Inc. and Tri-Vision International Ltd. sign a non-binding letter of intent under which a share swap would give Wi-LAN access to Tri-Vision’s prized V-chip technology. Tri-Vision owns the rights to V-chip patents in Canada, and the US where the Federal Communications Commission is calling for upgradeable V-chips to be included in all TV receivers and other broadcast reception devices, including VCRs, set-top boxes, and digital video recorders by the end of fiscal 2008. Under licensing agreements with heavyweight electronics manufacturers such as Sony, Hitachi, Philips and Panasonic, Tri-Vision’s V-chip is currently installed in 98% of all broadcast reception devices shipped in Canada and 25% of those in the US. Tri-Vision’s goal is to license all digital television receivers sold in the US, as it has practically done in Canada. “The combination of Wi-LAN and Tri-Vision will create a company that is more than the combined parts. It will be a world-class IP licensing company with exciting growth expected from our portfolio of essential patents,” says Jim Skippen, president and chief executive of Wi-LAN. He adds that Tri-Vision’s existing licenses should bring Wi-LAN approximately $100 million in revenue, and another $400 million over nine years, given growth forecasts and predicted licensing rates in US and Canadian markets. “This Transaction provides tremendous value to Tri-Vision shareholders,” says Tim Collings, chairman of Tri-Vision and the inventor of its V-chip. “We have always been confident in the strength of our V-chip technology, but by merging our companies we will benefit from the additional licensing experience and financial resources of Wi-LAN, particularly in the US market. Tri-Vision’s board of directors has formed a committee to consider the proposed deal, which already has the consent of company senior officers and directors who together hold over 24% of Tri-Vision’s common shares. If approved, the transaction is expected to be completed in June 2007.

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