Sybase has bought messaging service provider Mobile 365 for $425 million in cash.

The purchase will allow the company to offer managed services on Mobile 365's global network, said Sybase marketing VP Marty Beard, who will become president of the new Sybase Mobile 365 subsidiary. lt also puts Sybase in the business of carrying mobile messages among wireless carriers and handling billing for those messages. Beard sees growing opportunities in both areas.

Sybase can now go to companies such as Yahoo or Nike and offer to sell them a hosted enterprise application or to carry out a mobile marketing campaign to consumers' mobiles, Beard said.

Mobile 365's 330 employees will stay on where they are, and the actual purchase price may change depending on Mobile 365's working capital when the deal meets final approval.

Mobile 365 is privately held and had revenue of $90 million last year. It has its own network for carrying messages using SMS, MMS and instant messaging that links to the major operators such as Verizon, Vodafone, Cingular and China Mobile.