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Two years and half billion later, Helio sells for a song. But why?

Ryan Block, @ryan
06.27.08
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Money-losing companies with interesting technology and a small, if rabid, customer base still frequently tend to sell for healthy chunks of change -- especially in the wireless space. Look at Trolltech, for example, the mobile Linux company that never really made any money, yet somehow managed to be acquired by Nokia for its talent and IP, which apparently carried a value of over $150m. We know Helio was burning cash on a whole 'nother level, but that doesn't entirely explain why SK Telecom was so absurdly desperate to dump their $500m investment. At a $39m acquisition price, SK didn't just lose its shirt -- it lost that, the shoes, and then the pants. You know, the pants with a half-billion dollars in them.

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