TNS offers $230 million for VeriSign division

TNS, or the company formerly known as Transaction Network Services, is spending $230 million in cash to buy VeriSign's communications services division. The deal, expected to close in 60 days, is being done by TNS to update its telecommunications group.

TNS, based in Reston, Va., will combine its telecom services division with VeriSign's SS7 network; it will also take in VeriSign's roaming and clearing services for cellular carriers. The deal will give TNS a database of 145 million names and phone numbers out of the 400 million numbers in the U.S., making it the largest data base not owned by "phone giants" such as AT&T and Qwest.

The company already works with regional phone companies and cable providers that offer phone services, so the acquisition will allow TNS to sell database-driven services directly to carriers rather than having to rely on third-parties.

Last quarter, sales from TNS's telecom services division fell 11.2 percent to $16 million. While some growth resulted from cable providers, it wasn't enough to offset declining revenues from landline providers.

TNS will keep VeriSign's operations in Mountain View and Boulder, Colo., as is; the two locations have 300 employees that will be added to TNS's 740 person workforce.

For more:
- Washington Post article.

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