Vonage to Acquire iCore Networks, Inc. to Accelerate Its Unified Communications Strategy

  • M&A Deals
  • 20.08.2015 01:00 am

 Vonage Holdings Corp. (NYSE: VG) ("the Company"), a leading provider of cloud communications services for businesses and consumers, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held iCore Networks, Inc.("iCore"), a premier provider of Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) for businesses, for $92 million.

"iCore is an excellent strategic fit and a natural complement to Vonage's rapidly expanding UCaaS business. This acquisition will deepen our penetration at the higher end of the business market and further strengthen our industry leadership," said Alan Masarek, Vonage Chief Executive Officer. "iCore has a proven track record of delivering the innovative UCaaS solutions required by mid-market and enterprise companies, and has been particularly successful combining hosted communications with complementary cloud services to create a robust unified communications experience."

Mr. Masarek continued, "Our strategy is to serve businesses of any size via a multi-channel distribution approach. With the addition of iCore,Vonage will have what we believe is the largest sales force in the UCaaS market, addressing mid-market and enterprise companies through a Field Sales organization that sells directly to customers and a Channel Sales organization that supports our extensive nationwide network of indirect channel partners. Vonage serves the SMB market through a highly-successful Inside Sales team augmented with Online sales. Combined with iCore, we believe we will have the broadest multi-channel distribution platform in our industry and are ideally positioned to serve the full spectrum of the UCaaS market, from SMB to mid-market to enterprise."

Mr. Masarek concluded, "We look forward to welcoming the iCore team into the Vonage family and to further enhancing the experience of iCore's customers with Vonage's award-winning customer service, provisioning expertise, national MPLS network, and dedicated focus on innovation."

"In less than two years, Vonage has become the fastest-growing provider of UCaaS solutions for business, and becoming part of Vonage will instantly put iCore at the forefront of this growth," said Stephen G. Canton, CEO, Chairman and Founder of iCore. "I couldn't be more excited that iCore's employees and customers will now benefit from Vonage's strength, scale and leadership position in the industry."

Significantly Expands Field Sales Force and Accelerates Move Up-Market

iCore sells its solutions primarily through its large, direct field sales force, adding significant scale and a national footprint to Vonage's existing sales force. iCore supports more than 85,000 customer seats, with monthly ARPU per customer of more than $4,000, and derives more than 60% of its revenue from customers with 100 or more seats. Monthly revenue churn is less than one percent as a result of three-year contracts that include Quality of Service ("QoS") guarantees.

Complementary Technology Platform

iCore offers a broad range of voice, video, mobile and collaboration services to address the evolving needs of businesses. It leverages the same BroadSoft BroadWorks call processing platform used by Vonage, resulting in ease of integration for iCore's customers. iCore has a subset of customers running on BroadSoft's M6 platform. In order to meet the varying needs of customers, iCore offers a comprehensive Microsoft Lync-as-a-Service solution. Finally, iCore also offers a full range of complementary cloud services, such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), virtual desktop, and hosted Microsoft Exchange.

Transaction Terms, Financing and Anticipated Synergies

Under the terms of the Merger Agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of Vonage and iCore, shareholders of iCore will receive $92 million in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments. A portion of the purchase price will be deposited into escrow to secure certain indemnification rights under the merger agreement. The purchase price represents approximately 1.3 times estimated 2015 iCore revenues. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2015, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Vonage is financing the transaction through cash from its balance sheet and from the Company's revolving credit facility, resulting in pro forma net debt to adjusted LTM EBITDA of approximately 1.5 times as of June 30, 2015.

Given the similarities of the businesses and their common technology, Vonage expects to achieve synergies in network operations, technology used to service customers, and various operating expenses. Annual recurring cost synergies are expected to exceed $5 million in 2016.

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