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Interact Inc., a business-to-business communications technology company that has been in Lincoln for more than 30 years, has been acquired by NewNet Communication Technologies LLC, a wholly owned portfolio company of Skyview Capital. Terms were not disclosed.

Operating at 1225 L St., Interact provides a system that allows mobile phone companies to bill subscribers for phone calls, data usage and text messaging.

"A big thing we do is real-time rating, managing lots of billing transactions, where, for text message, data usage or phone calls, they'd purchase our billing system," said Ed McKee, director of marketing. "We'd handle calculating the usage." He described Interact as "a specialty shop."

"We handle voice services that traditional Ciscos or Nortels wouldn't really want to do because it's niche stuff. We have a lot of developers that provide custom voice and text services for mobile companies or large enterprises," McKee said.

Interact has 25 employees in Lincoln and four more at a research and development shop in Austin, Texas, and a sales office in Phoenix. 

Interact's founder, Greg Gissler, lives in Austin and will be retiring, as will CEO Lynn McKee.  

Ed McKee said the company expects to continue operating in Lincoln. "They want to keep the people together," he said.  

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has has been so much better at producing computer scientists than it was 20 years ago, Interact wouldn't have to go elsewhere, he said.

NewNet, the buyer, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill., is in mobile technologies with a primary focus in messaging, signaling, wireless broadband, consumer Internet, multimedia content delivery, mobile advertising and secure transaction processing. It has more than 200 telecom customers worldwide. 

NewNet has been around for 20 years, with a history of making core components for phone companies. 

"What they're doing is purchasing specialized technologies," Ed McKee said. "They're going to use their sales and distribution arm to bring them to the marketplace. We're excited. Being a smaller company, it's hard to get to into areas like Africa, Eastern Europe and Brazil, all over the world is where you need to be.

"If you send a video over your phone, it probably goes through one of their platforms," McKee said. "There's some nice things they do out there."

"We are excited that NewNet has emerged to take the business we have built to its next stage through continued investment and aggressive marketing on a global basis.” said Gissler in a news release.

The purchase is expected to close in early March. The local operation will become the Interact business unit of NewNet.

Skyview Capital LLC is a private investment firm headquartered in Beverly Hills, Calif., specializing in the acquisition and management of enterprises in technology, telecommunications, business services and niche manufacturing. NewNet Communication Technologies is a part of the Skyview Capital.

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Reach Richard Piersol at 402-473-7241 or dpiersol@journalstar.com.

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