U.S. Software developer BroadSoft exploring options, which include a divestiture

Faced with increased competition from its peers, BroadSoft has been under pressure from shareholders who are behaving like activists.

According to sources familiar with the matter at hand, BroadSoft Inc, a U.S. software provider which helps companies with cloud-based communications services, is exploring its options, which includes its potential sale.

The moves comes midst BroadSoft faces increasing competition from its larger peers which include 8×8 Inc, Ericsson, Cisco Systems Inc, and Nokia Oyj.

BroadSoft has approached investment banker Jefferies LLC to explore its possibilities, which includes divestiture to either another company or a private equity firm, said sources.

The sources, who have spoken on the condition of anonymity, have clarified that there is no element of certainty in any potential deal.

BroadSoft and Jefferies declined to comment.

Gaithersburg, Maryland-BroadSoft provides software and services which enable mobile, fixed-line and cable service providers to offer unified communications over their IP networks.

BroadSoft’s clients typically include large telecommunications companies which resells its software to their business customers.

As per a research report published by Barclays Plc last month, BroadSoft has tried to revamp its business model, however that comes with its own risks since it could jeopardise its relations with its clients.

Incidentally last month, its peer Mitel Networks Corp announced a deal to acquire a smaller rival, ShortTel Inc for $430 million.

In February, even 8×8 Inc had stated it was exploring a divestiture.

As of June 30, New York-based P2 Capital Partners LLC, a hedge fund, had a 4.6% stake in BroadSoft. P2 has often behaved like an activist shareholder and has even offered to acquire companies in which it has invested.

Case in point: in 2014 having acquired a stake in the company P2 pressured Epiq Systems to seek a sale, eventually placing its own $1.1 billion bid for the software company. The strategy however backfired – its bid was rejected, and Epiq was sold two years later to OMERS Private Equity and Harvest Partners LP, a buyout firm.

Another BroadSoft shareholder which has a history of acquisitions is KKR & Co LP, a buyout firm. KKR is Broadsoft’s 13th-largest shareholder.

For the second quarter ending June 30, Broadsoft’s reported a rise in revenues of $88.8 million, up by 9% from $81.7 million a year earlier. Its net loss was $3 million, compared with a loss of $2.9 million a year earlier.


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