Avaya confirms potential of takeover or management buyout
Avaya has confirmed it is considering a takeover and management buyout after results "fell short of expectations".
The news comes just weeks after rumours emerged that competitor Mitel was preparing a bid, while reports of a private equity-backed deal surfaced before that.
Avaya generated revenue of $709m (£547.7m) in its Q2, which ended on 31 March 2019, up five per cent year on year.
However, it was down four per cent on Q1's figure, which was enough to trigger talks of selling.
The comms player has hired JP Morgan to "explore strategic alternatives" in order to maximise shareholder value.
"The board has not set a timetable for the process, nor has it made any decisions related to any strategic alternatives at this time," Jim Chirico, Avaya CEO, told investors on an earnings call.
"There can be no assurance that the exploration of strategic alternatives will result in any particular outcome. The company does not intend to provide updates unless or until it determines that further disclosure is necessary."
He placed some of the blame for the revenue shortfall on Reuters, which ran a story in March speculating about a buyout.
"This created uncertainty among our customers and partners and led to a noticeable change in buying behaviour," Chirico said.
"We have implemented a customer outreach and communications plan that emphasises our innovation, strength and market leadership to help address the situation.
"But bottom line, the timing of the speculation, while difficult to pinpoint a quantitative impact, clearly had an effect."
He attributed the revenue shortfall in Q2 to missing a deadline with a new partner offering in the contact centre space and expects it to resolve itself in the current quarter.
Another factor at play was the "operational execution issues" associated with the distribution of its new J Series desk phones among channel partners, where instead of supplying the demand for the product, it flooded the channel with an older series model.
The CEO told investors that it would take until early Q4 for this situation to be resolved.
"Our top-line results and earnings fell short of expectations," he stated.
"In response, we have implemented a number of corrective actions to drive improved performance.
"While I'm disappointed in our results last quarter, overall, I remain confident about our path forward given the momentum and traction we are seeing in many segments of our business including cloud, services and emerging technologies."
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