Avaya IPO On Track For April: Report

Avaya laid the groundwork for a $1 billion initial public offering (IPO) with the filing of its Form S-1 with the SEC last June. Since then, the company's been close to silent on the matter, but according to one published report, it may soon be "go time" for Avaya's return as a public company.

Bloomberg reported Thursday that Avaya is planning to hold its IPO as soon as April, citing two sources said to have knowledge of the matter. Avaya waited longer than expected on the IPO because of an uncertain investment climate, and the timing may still be in flux, Bloomberg reported.

An Avaya spokesperson declined to comment on the Bloomberg report.

Avaya partners have sought answers about the IPO with many saying the IPO preparation -- and the uncertainty around its timing -- is a distraction for Avaya's executive team at a key period in Avaya's growth with the channel. Avaya did not mention the IPO during any of its main stage presentations at last fall's U.S. partner conference.

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In an interview with CRN in November, Avaya CEO Kevin Kennedy said the IPO decision was in the hands of Avaya's owners, private equity firms Silver Lake Partners and TPG Capital.

"At the end of the day, the event of an IPO is really the decision of the owners," Kennedy said. "As you know, since probably August, it's been closed to us. Going forward, the owners will decide if and when. My whole job is to make the numbers so that they have that alternative."

Silver Lake and TPG Capital took Avaya private in 2007 for $8.2 billion, and since then added dramatically to its size with the acquisition of Nortel's former enterprise unit and a number of smaller, tuck-in acquisitions. Avaya was originally created in 2000 as a spin-off of Lucent Technologies.

In a 10-Q filing dated Feb. 13, 2012, Avaya said its net loss for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, was $26 million, an improvement from the $180 million loss it had for the year-earlier quarter. Its revenue for the quarter was about $1.39 billion, a 2 percent increase from about $1.37 billion a year earlier.

Avaya noted an increase in networking revenue of 5 percent during the quarter, to $82 million in 2011 versus $78 million in 2010. It attributed the gain to increasing demand in the EMEA region, though it noted that sales of its Ethernet switching products decreased in the U.S. Avaya's new data networking SVP, Marc Randall, told CRN this week that Avaya would look to bolster data networking sales by incenting VARs to bundle voice, data and application-based products together and sell across Avaya's portfolio.