FirstHand bought by Matthews clan

Local telecom startup FirstHand Technologies Inc. is acquired CounterPath Corp., owned in part by Terry Matthews and his son, Owen Matthews, for about $9.3-million worth of the Vancouver company’s stock. CounterPath says it intends to integrate its suite of softphone and server applications with FirstHand’s technology, which provides smart phones and dual-mode devices with the same functionality as Internet protocol PBX phones, using mobile networks such as Wi-Fi and GSM. “The acquisition of FirstHand allows us to extend our carrier and enterprise client value proposition from the personal computer to most major mobile devices,” says CounterPath CEO Greg Pelling “All of our tier-one fixed-line carrier customers own, operate or partner with a mobile service provider in one form or another.” Last summer, Messrs. Terry and Owen Matthews took control of about one quarter of CounterPath’s shares when the son sold the company his NewHeights Software Corp. for US$21.6 million and the father’s investment firm, Wesley Clover, came in with a $5.5-million investment. The deal is expected to close by Feb. 1.

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