Acme Packet Lines Up IPO
Vonage joined the NYSE on May 24 at $17 and immediately hit the skids. The VOIP service provider's share price closed Friday at $11.98. (See Vonage Falls Hard & Fast in Public Debut.) But Acme seems to have more going for it. First of all, it's profitable. It also has investment bank Goldman Sachs & Co. , considered the gold standard in underwriters, behind it as the top book-runner.
Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC will act as joint lead manager and J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., a division of JP.MorganChase , will act as co-manager in the offering.
Acme hopes to float on Nasdaq with the ticker APKT, though there is currently no set date or details on the stock's proposed price or volume.
The company's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shows it aims to raise $85 million, though it's unclear whether that will be the final target. Acme Packet executives could not be reached Sunday as they set up for this week's Globalcomm exhibition here in Chicago.
Acme's filing shows it is taking its step towards a public listing after two consecutive profitable quarters. In 2005 Acme reported revenues of $36.1 million and a loss of just $35,000, compared with sales of $16 million and a net loss of $7 million in 2004.
But in the fourth quarter of 2005 the session controller vendor posted a $2.4 million profit from revenues of $12.7 million, and in the first three months of 2006 those numbers leaped to revenues of $18.9 million and net income of $6.2 million.
In its filing, the company touted expected growth in the session border controller sector, citing a prediction made in May this year by Infonetics Research Inc. that the market will grow from $86 million in 2005 to $613 million in 2009. Acme's current director of solutions marketing, Kevin Mitchell, joined Acme late last year from Infonetics, where he covered the VOIP equipment market. (See More From Mitchell.)
Acme, founded in August 2000, says it has 240 customers (including 67 Tier 1 carriers), about 190 staff, and has raised about $45 million from investors, including Menlo Ventures (which currently holds a 28.8 percent stake), Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV) (14.9 percent stake, and Canaan Partners (7 percent stake). Acme CEO Andrew Ory holds a 15.8 percent stake in the company. (See Telefónica Uses Acme and Alcatel Names Its 21CN Partners.)
It's main competitors are NexTone Communications Inc. , Newport Networks plc (London: NNG), Netrake Corp. , Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), which last year acquired Kagoor Networks. (See Cisco Integrates Session Control and Juniper to Acquire Kagoor.)
Acme is set to announce a new certification program and some new customers during Globalcomm.
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading