VeriSign reportedly is planning to sell many of its telecom assets to focus on its traditional core businesses of Internet domain handling and secure transaction processing.
Earlier in this decade, VerSign embarked on an aggressive acquisition binge that may have been equaled only by the M&A-happy firms Cisco Systems and Level 3 Communications. That got the company into everything from VoIP to SS7 to content aggregation, billing, number portability and intelligent network services. Now, it sounds like VeriSign, which also was visited by an investigation into stick option practices in recent years, is done with trying to manage that disparate mix and looking to do what it has always done best.
The range of VeriSign's telecom properties makes it likely multiple buyers would be involved. Buyers have been more active in some of these telecom segments, such as billing, than others, and uncertain carrier spending might keep some potential consolidators out of the competition for VeriSign's assets. Still, the sale of SS7 assets alone would garner a buyer several relationships with carriers such as Surewest Communications.
- The Washington Post has this Associated Press story
- Speculation about VeriSign's plans began two month ago