Late yesterday, Inteliquent (NASDAQ:IQNT, news, filings) announced that its CFO, Robert Junkroski, and its President and COO, Surendra Saboo will be stepping down as of October 1. Both will remain on hand for a month to help with the transition, and the company plans to identify a new CFO but doesn’t currently intend to hire a successor to Dr. Saboo.
This follows by just a week the resignation of Robert C. Hawk from the board of directors. Clearly the company is going through a substantial change.
Inteliquent has been considering a wide range of strategic alternatives for some time. At its Q2 earnings call last month, Inteliquent announced plans to pay a one time cash dividend, putting approximately $155M-180M into the hands of its shareholders this fall. That plan was contingent on raising some debt and other considerations, and further information is still pending.
But with this management shakeup and the weakness in the stock price since the earnings report, I’m thinking the plan may have changed. It seems very possible to me that Inteliquent’s board is now seeking a buyer, or that one or more have approached them already.
So who might buy Inteliquent’s wholesale voice, IP, and Ethernet business? Well there are many possibilities, but basically you’d be looking for someone who isn’t afraid of IP transit, values their fiber-free, wavelength-based network reach, especially in Europe, a and a use for a domestic US tandem voice business.
To me that’s an Asian tier-1 backbone with deep pockets and US and European expansion plans. Both NTT and Tata Communications immediately spring to mind as potential suitors, although it’s all just speculation on my part.
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