Case | HBS Case Collection | February 1999 (Revised November 1999)

Securicor Wireless Networks: February 1996

by G. Felda Hardymon and Bill Wasik

Abstract

Securicor Wireless (SWN) sold software products to wireless telephone carriers. The company was incorporated in January of 1995 as a 40%-owned subsidiary of Securicor Telesciences (STI), itself a wholly-owned subsidiary of British security giant Securicor PLC. Just over a year later, in February of 1996, SWN had the opportunity to merge with STI, creating a 70%-owned subsidiary of Securicor PLC and bringing it further under the umbrella of the British conglomerate. In presenting the events leading up to this decision, this case examines the dynamics of starting up a company with a large corporate investor, including the interplay between such a corporate partner and their traditional venture capitalist co-investors. Also touches on issues of corporate culture and differences in attitudes between U.S.-and U.K.-based companies/investors.

Keywords: Venture Capital; Business Subsidiaries; Nationality Characteristics; Business Conglomerates; Software; Mergers and Acquisitions; Organizational Culture; Business Startups; Business and Shareholder Relations; Technology Industry; United Kingdom; United States;

Citation:

Hardymon, G. Felda, and Bill Wasik. "Securicor Wireless Networks: February 1996." Harvard Business School Case 899-134, February 1999. (Revised November 1999.)