Convergys Mulls Billing Spinoff
The news is so exciting, in fact, that investors have been piling into the company's stock, sending it up by $0.75, or 5 percent, to $15.50 in the hope that the suggested move will unlock some hidden value. Convergys has stressed, though, that it is only evaluating the idea at present, and will make a decision about the potential spinoff during the fourth quarter.
So what's the deal?
Convergys has three business units in total, and the other two are boring: Customer Management (outsourced customer care solutions and professional and consulting services to in-house customer care operations); and Human Resources Management (human resource business process outsourcing solutions and learning solutions).
Information Management, though, is a comparative sex god, providing, as it does, "convergent rating, charging and billing solutions" for telcos and cable operators, making it a rival to the likes of Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX), CSG Systems International Inc. (Nasdaq: CSGS), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), and Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL), among others. (See DT Picks Convergys, AlcaLu, Convergys Team Up, Convergys Wins at BSNL, and Cincy Bell Picks Convergys.)
And converged billing is a pretty hot telecom software segment at the moment. (See Redknee Preps Shopping Spree and Billing Loses Its 'Boring' Tag.)
So much so that a spinoff might make the resulting standalone company a potential acquisition target for any large vendor looking to bolster its telecom software asset base. In 2007, the Information Management unit generated revenues of $723 million and an operating income of $130.9 million (for an operating margin of 18.6 percent.) (See Major Vendors Kiss OSS.)
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading