Shareholders Approve Proxim, Western Multiplex Merger

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Shareholders of Western Multiplex and Proxim Tuesday approved the merger of the two wireless networking vendors, with some 99 percent of Western Multiplex stockholders and 87 percent of Proxim stockholders voting in favor of the deal. The companies completed the merger following the shareholder votes.

The deal creates a combined company with products ranging from low-end consumer HomeRF to 802.11a, 802.11b wireless LAN gear, as well as wireless Ethernet bridges and wireless carrier backhaul products.

The combined company will keep the Proxim name and be headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Western Multiplex Chairman and CEO Jonathan Zakin was named chairman and CEO of the combined company, and Proxim CEO David King was tapped as president and COO.

Under the merger agreement, Proxim merged with and became a subsidiary of Western Multiplex, and Western Multiplex changed its name to Proxim.

The former Proxim's strength in the wireless LAN (WLAN) market complements Western Multiplex's point-to-point high-speed wireless Ethernet bridges and last mile access products, Zakin said. Western's Tsunami brand wireless Ethernet bridges are used as WAN connections between buildings and campuses, with speeds ranging from 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps.

King said the deal would give Proxim access to Western Multiplex's solution provider channel. Proxim, strong in the health-care and government markets, hasn't penetrated the corporate enterprise market, he said. Also, Proxim's 802.11b-based wireless Ethernet bridges haven't gained the traction of its in-building WLAN products, King said.

Western Multiplex's channel partners largely consist of Cisco partners complementing Cisco's WLAN products with Western's high-speed Ethernet building-to-building bridges. While Cisco produces WLAN products, it does not produce high-speed wireless Ethernet bridges.

Proxim is hoping the merger will allow it to leverage the channel partners of each company to increase sales, Zakin said.

Western Multiplex didn't have the infrastructure to recruit and train VARs fast enough, but the merger gives the company access to Proxim's larger partner base, Zakin added.

Western Multiplex currently has about 650 active partners in the high-end enterprise networking market, he said. A subset of Proxim's some 1,000 active partners has been targeted as likely candidates for deploying Western Multiplex's high speed Ethernet point-to-point and point-to-multipoint bridges, Zakin said.

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