BigBand Reportedly Ready to File IPO

Reports coming from Israel suggest that, at long last, cable equipment vendor BigBand Networks Inc. is about to file for an IPO that could value it as high as $500 million.

BigBand, which sells broadband access and VOIP technology to cable operators, has been a strong IPO candidate for some time and is still among Light Reading's Top Ten Private Companies.

It's also a chunky but tempting takeover target for any large vendor looking to buy a strong position in the MSO infrastructure market, a move that seems plausible following recent cable vendor acquisitions by Cisco Systems Inc. and Motorola Inc. (See Riding the Cable Consolidation Wave, Where Are the IPOs?, Cisco Snatches VOD Vendor Arroyo, and Moto Buys VOD Vendor Broadbus .)

Now, according to a report from Israeli newspaper Haaretz, BigBand is preparing for an IPO on Nasdaq in early 2007 that would raise about $120 million from the flotation of about 25 percent of its stock. That would value the company at just short of $500 million.

A BigBand spokesman declined to comment. The company has not yet filed an S-1 form with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

BigBand, which has raised more than $100 million in VC funding to date, has been clocking up contract wins consistently in the past few years and has had notable success in China as well as with the major U.S. cable operators. Sources close to the company said earlier this year that it is on course for 2006 revenues of up to $180 million. (See BigBand Networks Inc., BigBand Wins in China, and Three China Cablecos Pick BigBand.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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