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Cedar Point Non-Committal About IPO Path

Jeff Baumgartner
1/30/2008

VOIP equipment specialist Cedar Point Communications Inc. plans to keep its options open in respect to an initial public offering (IPO) after the company announced Wednesday that president and CEO Andy Paff has stepped down, and Curt Hockemeier has stepped in under the "interim" label. (See Cedar Point Names Interim CEO.)

"There's no immediate need or immediate reason that [an IPO] would be the game plan," Cedar Point CFO Donald Halsted told Cable Digital News.

Given the state of the markets, and cable-related stocks in general, that might not be such a bad idea for Cedar Point, which last August was the No. 4 selection of Light Reading's Top 10 Private Companies. It has also raised $85 million through four rounds of funding. (See Cable's Fall Season .)

And Hockemeier, who joined the Cedar Point board in 2003 and ran telephony operations at AT&T Broadband (now part of Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)) in the early part of the decade, expects his role as CEO to be truly interim. In fact, Cedar Point has already started a search for a permanent replacement.

"It will depend on the progress of the board search... but I suspect that it wouldn't be unnatural for me to be here [as CEO] for a matter of months," Hockemeier says.

However long his tenure ends up, his role is to keep Cedar Point from veering off its present path as it heads deeper into 2008.

He says his task is "to support this strong management team and their 2008 plan. The company's not broken," Hockemeier says. "I didn't come with a playbook that's different than what the company had when I arrived on Monday morning."

Because Cedar Point is privately held, it is not required to divulge financial data. However, Inc.com reported that the company generated $68.1 million in 2006, up from $455,204 in 2003.

Halsted says 2007 revenues were up slightly, but distributed across a wider number of customers. In 2006, more than half of Cedar Point's revenues were concentrated on its "top customer" (most likely Comcast), but that concentration was reduced to less than a third in 2007, as business started to pick up in Latin America and Europe, and even from outside the cable industry.

Today, Cedar Point claims to have as many customers in Latin America as in North America, with growth coming from Europe. Although cable represents the majority of Cedar Point's business, it has also secured two CLEC deals, with one already announced with TransNational Communications Inc. (TNCI).

Overall, it has about 30 service provider customers, with more than 4 million lines installed. Charter Communications Inc. , Insight Communications Co. Inc. , Bresnan Communications LLC , and Buckeye CableSystem are among Cedar Point's cable MSO partners.

Paff joined Cedar Point in late 2003. He will remain a company shareholder, but has left the post to "pursue other interests," according to a Cedar Point official.

"He's allowed me to arrive here at a very good time," Hockemeier says of Paff. "I'm here to make sure we don't miss a step as Andy hands the baton to a new CEO."

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner
12/5/2012 | 3:48:45 PM
re: Cedar Point Non-Committal About IPO Path
But considering the state of the market and the fact that Cedar Point seems to be making enough to pay the bills, do you think it's even smart for them to try an IPO now? Conditions change. RGB even said publicly last year that they might consider an IPO in '08. Given the markets and the fun BigBand has had recently as a public company, aren't they allowed to change their minds?
AGlobalVillageIdiot
AGlobalVillageIdiot
12/5/2012 | 3:48:45 PM
re: Cedar Point Non-Committal About IPO Path
I guess those Leading Lights "Top IPO or M&A awards" Light Reading hands out don't mean squat. Anybody who watched the show could see this coming for the last four years. A big ego VC firing an entrepreneurial CEO and replacing him with a CEO he can manipulate is a recipe for disaster.
AGlobalVillageIdiot
AGlobalVillageIdiot
12/5/2012 | 3:48:41 PM
re: Cedar Point Non-Committal About IPO Path
Funny you should bring BigBand into the discussion. Look at the board of directors and ask yourself what they have in common. Peel back a few years and examine the River Delta debacle where they turned down a nice juicy offer from Tellabs and ended up being dumped on Motorola for pennies on the dollar. Who sat on that board pulling the strings?

Cedar Point can't possibly do an IPO now. It has nothing to do with market conditions since properly managed companies can go public at any time. The place just had four years of decision paralysis where an IPO was a charade. No telling the eventual outcome since there is no replacement CEO yet.
DPD
DPD
12/5/2012 | 3:48:40 PM
re: Cedar Point Non-Committal About IPO Path
CORRECTION

RiverDelta sold to MOT for $300M, which translated to about ~$4/share. Not bubble money, but certainly not pennies on the dollar.
btierney
btierney
12/5/2012 | 3:48:32 PM
re: Cedar Point Non-Committal About IPO Path
Another case of VC's getting greedy...

Stick a knife in Cedar Point

They'll end up selling to an "Alcatel" for chump change
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