(UPDATED) Move Networks Up For Sale: Three Parties Have Shown Interest
Update 7:53pm ET: Move Networks has just issued a press release saying that it, "intends to retain a financial advisor to assist the Company in evaluating strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the Company." It has announced that President and CEO Roxanne Austin will step down, "following a brief transition period", and that Marcus Liassides who is the EVP of sales and biz dev will now be the President and handle day-to-day operations. Previously, Marcus was the CEO of Inuk Networks which Move acquired last year. Move also said that to converse cash the company "announced a reduction of its workforce".
In the past month, Move Networks has received three offers from other vendors in the industry interested in potentially buying the company so it's no surprise to hear today that Move Networks is laying off employees and that Move's CEO Roxanne Austin will be leaving the company.
Even after all the problems and layoffs Move had more than a year ago, Move's board still seemed determined to try to make a go at it and bring some value back to the company in a different segment of the market, that being a platform for linear TV. While the board had seem fit to be in this for the long run and allowed Roxanne to add some new high profile executives to the board, it appears as if the investors are now going to cut their losses.
While terms of the deals that are on the table were not disclosed to me, in a call I had last week with one of the interested parties, they confirmed that multiple companies have approached Move Networks in the past month with interest in buying their assets. While I can't disclose who the companies are, some of them are a natural fit for simply bringing the technology in house and using it for their private network. I do know that the board has spent the past few weeks reviewing the proposals and with Roxanne leaving and others being laid off, it won't be long before the Move Networks brand is gone.
Combined, Move's investors including Benchmark Capital, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Steamboat Ventures and Televisa invested more than $67M into the company in three rounds. No one is going to be willing to pay that much for the company so unless the investors can get stock in the company that eventually purchases Move, they will lose money on the deal. I give them credit for trying to get Move up and running after all the problems they had, but they would have been much better off simply selling the company back in 2008. Hints of what was taking place came out today when someone posted a comment to Move's Twitter account suggesting the company was looking to sell the assets for $150M, but that's an obvious joke. No one is going to pay much for what Move has.
Move's downfall over the years is a great learning example for others and once again points out that you can't build a business on technology alone. Unless you have a way to take that technology and turn it into a product/service that has a business model that makes sense, the best technology in the world won't save you. Move learned that first hand and for anyone who has followed the company over the past few years, today's events won't come as any surprise.