Genband, Sonus Merger Nets 'Ribbon Communications'

Genband and Sonus today completed their merger, announced in May, and revealed a new company name, Ribbon Communications.

What's In a Name

The name Ribbon is meant to reflect the suite of real-time communications software solutions that the combined company brings to market, according to press materials. "With the world more complexly woven together than ever before, the real-time communications we rely on must become a more comprehensive, engaging, contextual and all-encompassing experience. That's why Ribbon is being launched. Born to serve as the real-time communications pivoting point for our lives, Ribbon serves as the connection across all our worlds," Sonus stated in its press materials.

Moving Forward Together

Ribbon brings together Sonus' strengths in real-time virtualization, cloud-based SIP, security, and 4G/voice-over-LTE solutions with Genband's strengths in network, UC, mobility, and embedded communications/communications platform as a service. In addition to the product synergy, the combined company also allows more opportunity to invest in growth and driving more effective R&D, press materials state.

Moving forward, Ribbon will focus on providing real-time, cloud-based, secure communications solutions. As mentioned in previous No Jitter coverage, Sonus CEO Ray Dolan will head the merged company while Genband CEO David Walsh will oversee the Kandy business unit.

The expectation is that the Kandy business in particular will enable enterprises and service providers to meet these demands with the ability to embed voice, video, messaging, chat, and presence into business processes, applications, and other solutions. In addition, Ribbon's growth initiatives include a cloud security and analytics platform for real-time flows and digital services.

Today's announced merger completion and the details around it jibe with what we heard from Genband at its annual partner and customer conference, Perspectives, in July. While both companies had entered a quiet period around the merger as details were being worked out, the event put a strong focus on Kandy being Genband's future, a way to propel digital innovation for enterprises and service providers alike.

The newly combined company will trade on the Nasdaq under the Sonus stock ticker, SONS, until a new ticker symbol, RBBN, becomes effective, likely by the end of the year, Sonus said in the press release. Sonus and Genband shareholders each own approximately 50% of Ribbon. Former equity holders of Genband received a $22.5 million unsecured note as part of the transaction. Ribbon is expected to realize annual cost synergies of $40 million to $50 million in 2018, driving "solid cash flow from operations" in the first year after close, Sonus stated.

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