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BOS Ireland Takes Stake In Blue Ocean Wireless

by Jason Gorringe,, London

13 June 2007

Blue Ocean Wireless, an Irish company focused on delivering GSM communication capability for the merchant maritime sector, on Monday announced that Bank of Scotland (Ireland) has acquired a 10% equity interest.

The investment now values Blue Ocean Wireless at approximately USD 48 million.

The investment by Bank of Scotland (Ireland) is being made at a valuation which is at a premium to the valuation of BOW when initial equity was raised at its launch in early 2007.

According to BOW:

"This up-lift in valuation reflects the progress Blue Ocean Wireless has made in developing its business model since its initial launch. Blue Ocean Wireless’ other significant investors are its founding shareholders, Irish remote communications company, Altobridge and private investment firm, Claret Capital."

Blue Ocean Wireless, together with Inmarsat, Stratos and a leading GSM network operator, aims to provide a dedicated global GSM service for crew members of merchant ships. Blue Ocean Wireless’ service will, for the first time, enable seafarers to use their existing mobile phones on board vessels in deep ocean water in exactly the same way that they would do in port or on land.

BOW will also enable ship owners, insurers and government authorities, as well as suppliers and customers, to track and monitor individual containers on board merchant vessels as they traverse the globe using a combination of GPRS and RFID technology.

Claire Carroll, Investment Director with Bank of Scotland (Ireland) explained earlier this week that:

“Blue Ocean Wireless represents a compelling and relatively rare opportunity for us to invest in an Irish business that is immediately serving a global market. Maritime mobile services for the 1.25 million people working in the merchant marine industry is an unserved sector in the vast world of telecommunications, and we are delighted to partner with Claret Capital and Altobridge at this stage of the project.”

Robert Johnson, CEO of Blue Ocean Wireless added:

“Our GSM service is a unique application via Inmarsat for the merchant maritime sector and we are rapidly making progress towards our first customer deployment. We have a strong relationship with the Bank of Scotland (Ireland) primarily though our major shareholder, Claret Capital. This investment by BOSI, in Blue Ocean Wireless, reflects the strength of that relationship plus the progress we have made in bringing this product to market. We have a strong team, are passionate about this business and are excited about the future prospects for Blue Ocean Wireless.”

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