Alteva rejects $8 share takeover bid, adopts shareholder rights plan

Alteva, a unified communications specialist, has rejected an unsolicited takeover bid from the Juniper Investment Company.

The company's board said that it received a non-binding letter of interest from Juniper on Aug. 26, which proposed the acquisition of all of Alteva's outstanding common shares for $8 per share in cash after completing necessary due diligence and financing.

After reviewing the proposal with the assistance of its independent advisors, it found that the bid "significantly undervalues the Company and its future prospects and is not in the best interests of shareholders."

In the wake of this unsolicited bid, Alteva's board adopted a shareholder rights plan that it says is aimed at defending the company against further inadequate offers seeking to take advantage of temporary fluctuations in its stock price.

"We are always prepared to evaluate transactions that could improve shareholder value. However, we also have an obligation to ensure that our shareholders are treated fairly," said Kelly Bloss, chairman of Alteva, in a release. "We felt that adoption of the shareholder rights plan gives us an additional tool to preclude would-be acquirers from seeking to take advantage of temporary fluctuations in our stock price."

Alteva has been wading through its own internal reorganization process, naming Brian Kelley as its new CEO in August. Kelley had been appointed as Alteva's interim CEO several months ago to lead its efforts to expand its sales channels.

At the time it appointed Kelley as CEO, Alteva said it was evaluating potential acquisitions to "supplement its organic growth potential" and authorized a repurchase program for up to $3,000,000 of its common stock.

While Alteva has been able to remain an independent company, there has been some consolidation of the Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) market, with a number of players looking to increase their service capabilities and profile. In August, Thinking Phone Networks acquired Whaleback Managed Services, a move that bolstered its status in the UCaaS market.

The UC market overall continues to grow. Led by 8x8, ShoreTel and RingCentral, which combined make up about 36 percent of the market, the UCaaS market is growing annually at a rate of nearly 30 percent and currently accounts for about 8 percent of all managed and hosted business voice subscribers, according to Synergy Research Group.

For more:
- see this release

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