j2 Global Buys Protus IP to Broaden Products for Fax, Voice, UC Customers

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j2 Global Communications Inc. has purchased Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider Protus IP Solutions to bulk up its messaging and communications services portfolio.

j2, based in Hollywood, Calif., paid $213 million in cash for Canada-headquartered Protus. Both of the companies sell to SMBs and enterprises; Protus launched its partner program in 2004. It’s the firm that sells the Internet-faxing product MyFax, which earlier this year expanded its local number availability.

Other Protus products j2 now owns include the e-mail marketing tool Campaigner and the virtual phone service My1Voice. j2 has developed the eFax, eFax Corporate, Onebox, eVoice and Electric Mail brands. As a result of the Protus buy, j2 said it boasts 1.9 million DIDs, thanks to the acquisition, which are reaching its fax, voice and unified communications customers.

j2 said Protus generated more than $72 million in revenue in the 12 months ended Oct. 31.

In October, Protus made Deloitte’s prestigious 2010 Technology Fast 500 list. j2 didn’t make clear how it plans to incorporate Protus into its operations but did say it expects to incur about $15 million in merger-related costs during the next nine months. Between $5 million and $11 million of that should come in j2’s current fiscal quarter.

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