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Optical/IP

Openwave Change a Harbinger?

3:40 PM -- The news that Openwave Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: OPWV)'s chairman of the board Bernard Puckett stepped down yesterday sent the phone software vendor's stock climbing in after-hours trading and through the morning of Thursday.

A financial source I spoke to today suggested that the departure of Puckett might clear the way for a new bid from private equity firm Harbinger Venture Management -- especially after the appointent of Openwave's new CEO, Robert Vrij, in the Spring. (See Openwave Replaces CEO.)

"He [Puckett] was pretty much in the way," suggests the source. "The new CEO is more willing to make a deal." Harbinger, you may remember, has already had a partial bid for the company rejected in June. (See OpenWave Rejects Advances.) Bear in mind that there has also been low-level talk about Sybase Inc. coming back with a bid. So it's probably best to file this under "one to watch" for the time being.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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