Sources: ANDA Preps IPO

ANDA Networks Inc. is preparing to file for an IPO, and may also be entertaining acquisition offers from big equipment vendors including Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) and Nortel Networks Ltd. , according to industry sources.

That's a lot of activity around a relatively small, specialist vendor, so what makes ANDA so hot to trot after nearly 10 years on the shelf?

Well, it operates in a sector that's getting a lot of attention -- carrier Ethernet. The company sells edge equipment and was among the early vendors to catch the wave of Provider Backbone Transport (PBT). (See PBT Stars at Ethernet Expo , ANDA Unveils EtherReach 1000, and PBT: New Kid on the Metro Block.)

And it's profitable -- or at least it was in mid-2006, according to an old press release. (See ANDA Raises $10.5M.)

And despite being a relative small fry, it's sewn up deals with big-name carriers including BCE Inc. (Bell Canada) (NYSE/Toronto: BCE), BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Rogers Communications Inc. (NYSE: RG; Toronto: RCI), and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).

The BT deal was won through OEM partner Ciena, which uses ANDA equipment as the basis for its CN 3000 Ethernet access system. (See Ciena Takes ANDA Into 21CN.)

Ciena is interested in cementing that relationship to acquire the edge Ethernet play it's lacking, says one industry source tracking Ciena's situation.

When asked about possible acquisitions in the Ethernet access space, including a potential bid for ANDA, Ciena CEO Gary Smith told Light Reading that his company is "always looking."

While Smith would not comment on ANDA in particular, he said: "We continue to look at opportunities in [Ethernet access] and other spaces, so I wouldn't rule out possible acquisitions in the future."

Another source believes Nortel, which also happens to be an ANDA OEM partner, has made overtures as well. (See Anda, Nortel Team Up.)

A spokesperson for Nortel declined to comment "on rumors and speculation."

Still, more than one source thinks an IPO is ANDA's most likely outcome. While a sale would give ANDA's backers, which include Crimson Investment, Highland Capital Partners , and Venrock Associates , some return on their $100 million-plus investment, so would a stock exchange listing. (See ANDA Raises $10.5M and Anda Completes $70M Round.)

ANDA officals could not be reached for comment.

ANDA tried the IPO route in 2000 and filed an S-1 form with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) , stating its intention to raise $100 million. Probably riding a dotcom high at the time, ANDA had logged just three quarters of notable revenues, totaling $9.4 million, and recorded losses totaling $17 million during those quarters.

That filing never went anywhere, of course. (See Anda Networks Withdraws IPO Filing.)

But it's a nostalgic read. Look who ANDA competed with at the time: Accelerated Networks, CopperCom , Jetstream, Tollbridge, parts of Lucent, and the Fibex division of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO).

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

net-hed 12/5/2012 | 2:57:19 PM
re: Sources: ANDA Preps IPO
This story reeks of manipulation.
First of all, you're reporting as "news" three potential future scenarios so that, if and when one of them comes to pass, you can claim to have reported it first. Is that helpful at all?
I mean, you were the same people who told us, repeatedly, that Tellabs was buying Carrier Access.
More importantly, though: Read this story, with its anonymous sources, and ask yourself: Who benefits from this story?
When you add up the elements (Anda's partners "may" be bidding for it, it will go public soon), it clearly seems designed to influence both Nortel and Ciena to bid for Anda before the other guy does or before it goes public. And it encourages them to bid soon and bid high.
I happen to know some people at these companies, and I can tell you that there were no such acquisition discussions at the time your story ran. None.
Craig, you are being played like a fiddle. I'd be very careful in case the SEC takes an interest in all this.
rahat.hussain 12/5/2012 | 2:57:17 PM
re: Sources: ANDA Preps IPO net-head

are you saying that this lightreading article will make biz dev guys at nortel and ciena run to their phones to make a bid?

if the answer is yes, it is a sad reflection on the quality of biz dev guys. and they deserve every lousy acquisition they make!

i do agree about the multiple scenario model presented thought - does seem to cover all bases for craig!

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 2:57:12 PM
re: Sources: ANDA Preps IPO I'll admit, the story does cover multiple bases. Not all.

It was supposed to be a story about just ONE of the possibilities. And as we did some reporting, we started getting told that more was going on ... I liked the initial theory better, but it wasn't right to just report that and ignore the other information.

As for Nortel and Ciena getting prodded to bid higher .... It's nice to think their biz dev guys get paid to just read Light Reading all day, but somehow I doubt it.
jmunn 12/5/2012 | 2:57:11 PM
re: Sources: ANDA Preps IPO Please have Nortel buy ANDA!

Nortel is GREAT at removing our competition.

I suspect that ANDA may have their own problems already.

Going IPO or sale means they will slash development/developers to make the numbers look better, good for us competitors.

I have noticed some correlation between increased LR advertising and a shortened life span of the company.

bollocks187 12/5/2012 | 2:57:10 PM
re: Sources: ANDA Preps IPO Have any you actually read the BIOS of the management of ANDA networks - they are not the type to be succesful at an IPO.
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