theglobe.com Hires Bankers to Exit VoIP Business
By ROBERT LIU
Only days after the company was the subject of a highly speculative article in the influential financial weekly, Barron’s, theglobe.com confirmed it has engaged Kaufman Brothers as investment advisors to evaluate partnership or sale opportunities for its VoIP subsidiary.
The company operates tglo, formerly known as Voiceglo Holdings. Through the subsidiary, the company offers PC-based softphone products like CentComm as well as international calling plans and claims over 4.8 million registered users. In the latest issue of Barron’s, the magazine suggested that buying theglobe.com’s stock is a good play on speculating whether or not the company will “find a buyer for its VoIP business.”
“Obviously, the industry is in a very exciting stage and we believe the time is right to find a significant partner or buyer for our business,” theglobe.com President Ed Cespedes said in a prepared statement.
However, theglobe.com’s Black Friday Super Sale also comes at a time when Sprint Nextel has lobbed a patent infringement lawsuit against its VoIP subsidiary and industry darling Vonage Holdings. And although theglobe.com has claimed the suit is without merit, legal experts have suggested that, given the circumstances, Sprint’s defendants could face a difficult uphill battle if the case ever reaches the courts.
Still, Cespedes infers that the company’s legal disputes haven’t deterred prospective buyers. “Rather than continue to field ‘informal’ inquiries, we believe our shareholders would be best served with an organized process,” Cespedes continued.
If completed, the sale would leave theglobe.com with computer game publishing and domain registration business.
Robert Liu is Executive Editor at TMCnet. Previously, he was Executive Editor at Jupitermedia and has also written for CNN, A&E, Dow Jones and Bloomberg. For more articles, please visit Robert Liu's columnist page.
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