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SIP Trunking Featured Article

January 04, 2011

GENBAND Buys Cedar Point


By Paula Bernier
Executive Editor, TMC

Reports have been circulating in recent weeks about GENBAND’s interest in Cedar Point Communications. As it turns out, the rumors were true. Less than eight months after closing its acquisition of Nortel CVAS, GENBAND today announced its purchase of Cedar Point for an undisclosed sum.


Cedar Point, which has 7.5 million lines in service globally, sells the SAFARI C3 Multimedia Switching System, a SIP-based VoIP switch that is compliant with CableLab’s PacketCable specifications and popular with the cable TV companies. While GENBAND moved into the No. 1 cable market spot with its acquisition of CVAS, Cedar Point (which at the time of the CVAS deal claimed 15 percent market share) brings to the table such marquee cableco customers as Comcast, Liberty, Charter and Kabel Deutschland (the leading cableco in Germany). It also has as its customers various smaller cable companies in the Caribbean, Mehmet Balos, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at GENBAND, tells TMCnet.

“We are strengthening our leadership in a high-growth market,” adds Balos.

Charlie Vogt, GENBAND CEO, says: “Our combined vision of bringing advanced SIP and multimedia services to the cable market is one of the key drivers for this transaction, particularly as cable operators transition to IP. We look forward to supporting Cedar Point’s outstanding customer base with what will now be an even more comprehensive portfolio of solutions.”

GENBAND’s broad portfolio includes access and media gateways, security products, softswitches, and applications.

The Cedar Point deal is the fifth acquisition under Vogt’s leadership. In addition to the Nortel CVAS deal, for which GENBAND expects to complete integration this quarter, GENBAND purchased NextPoint Networks in the fall of 2008, Tekelec’s Switching Solutions Group in April 2007, Nokia Siemens Networks’ Surpass IP trunking gateway product lines in April 2008, and both BayPackets Inc. and the Digital Central Office business of Siemens Networks LLC in late 2006.

In the August cover story of INTERNET TELEPHONY, a TMC magazine, Vogt made clear the GENBAND was looking to do additional acquisitions. He also mentioned that GENBAND is considering an IPO, working to achieve organic growth of 3 to 4 percent a year, and seeking to get to a 15 percent operating margin model by 2011.

GENBAND had about 2,200 employees following the CVAS deal, 3,000 if you count contract employees, Balos adds. GENBAND expects to move Cedar Point staffers who currently work out of a site in Derry, N.H., to its nearby Billerica, Mass., research and development location after the lease to the Cedar Point location expires, says Balos. While many of the Cedar Point employees, which total something less than 200, will be absorbed into GENBAND, there will be no changes to the GENBAND executive team or board as a result of the transaction, says Balos, adding that Cedar Point’s CEO and CFO will stay on for a few months to ensure a smooth transition.

Cedar Point was founded by George Kassas, who has been serving as executive vice president of business development. The president and CEO of Cedar Point prior to the GENBAND deal was John (J.C.) Murphy. Donald Halsted served as the CFO. The company had raised $70 million in financing from Ascent Venture Partners, Battery Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Comcast Interactive Cable, Focus Ventures, J.P. Morgan Partners, STAR Ventures and Motorola Ventures. Cedar Point’s go-to-market has included both direct sales and distribution through partners.

 

Vogt will deliver a keynote on Wednesday, Feb 2 at 4pm during ITEXPO East 2011. To be held in Miami, Florida, ITEXPO is the world’s premier IP communications event. Don’t wait. Register now.




Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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