US software co Teoco in talks to buy TTI

The price tag being considered reflects a 40% premium on the share price.

Operations support systems (OSS) developer TTI Team Telecom International Ltd. (Nasdaq: TTIL) is apparently getting a new owner after years of organizational shocks. Teoco Corporation, a private US company that provides software solutions to communications operators, the same business as TTI, is in talks to acquire the company for a reported $50-60 million. The price tag reflects a 40% premium on TTI's closing price.

TTI CEO Meir Lipshes declined to comment on the report. However, the company said in a press release, "In response to a media report in Israel regarding a potential transaction involving the company, that it is currently in negotiations regarding a potential acquisition of all the shares of the company. There can be no assurance as to whether any transaction of this nature will be consummated, and if consummated what the terms thereof, including price, would be."

TTI's share price rose 5.8% at the opening on Nasdaq today to $2.54, giving a market cap of $41 million.

TTI was founded in 1992 as a subsidiary of Team Telecom (which later merged with Malam to create Malam Team Ltd. (TASE: MLTM)), controlled by Shlomo Eisenberg, and later spun off as an independent company. The company held its IPO in 1996 and held three subsequent secondary offerings, which have resulted in a complex capital structure. Eisenberg currently owns the 25% controlling interest in TTI, both directly and through Malam Team. US equity fund Neuberger Berman Group LLC owns 20%. The company has 350 employees.

The likely sale of TTI is not a surprise. The company's sector has been undergoing consolidation, and many of the company's competitors have been swallowed up by the computer giants in recent years. TTI's customers include France Telecom SA (NYSE; Euronext: FTE), and Bell Canada Inc. (TSX: BC).

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 20, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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