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Screen capture of Wi-LAN homepage.
Screen capture of Wi-LAN homepage.

Market betting Mosaid has a counterbid Add to ...

Mosaid Technologies Inc. shareholders are betting there's a white knight set to show up at the last minute.

There's only one week until Mosaid loses the protection of its poison pill and Wi-LAN Inc. can start taking up shares deposited to its $42-a-share hostile bid, yet Mosaid shares are trading above the bid after a steady run in recent days, broken only by a late day slip Tuesday.

That suggests that there's a growing belief that Wi-LAN will be trumped.

The speculation is that there are at least two parties in talks with Mosaid about a bid, but the holdup is that any bid would have to be approved by Mosaid's key partners, Microsoft Corp. and Nokia Oyj . Microsoft and Nokia recently handed Mosaid a huge trove of patents to manage, and they won't want the company sold to just anyone.

"That is causing delays," said Northern Securities analyst Sameet Kanade. He said that there was an expectation in the market that Mosaid would announce something Friday or Monday.

"They know their response is due."

Mosaid said in court filings when it was fighting to preserve its poison pill that it had one party that was interested in making a superior offer. That was when Wi-LAB's bid stood at $38 a share. Now that Wi-LAN has bumped to $42, the market will be expecting something closer to $47 or $48 a share, Mr. Kanade said.

"What is more certain than not is that Mosaid wants not to fall into the hands of Wi-LAN," Mr. Kanade said.

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