ShoreTel Board takes company private?

“ShoreTel  (SHOR) is in final stages of rolling out ShoreTel Connect”. Who cares? Technology issues aside, ShoreTel remains dog meat in the financial markets. Since the company’s public offering in 2007, the stock has never sustained a price above the first day closing of $12.50, itself a modest premium over the offering price of $9.50 a share. Currently SHOR is trading below the rejected MItel acquisition price proposal. Market capitalization continues to hang around the $430M valuation.

Ring Central (RNG) with a market cap of $1.5B and 8X8 (EGHT) with a market cap of $1.3B are pacesetters and models for what ShoreTel should be! Why are these companies valued so highly yet ShoreTel remains the living dead? Maybe Considering divesting the customer premise business? One of the key difference between these three companies, is that only one company is dealing with the challenges of manufacturing hardware. The CPE product line has greater value to a company that wants to focus on that segment. Can you walk both sides of the street, CPE and Cloud? If ShoreTel management wants to keep its head in the cloud, go for it.

Clearly public shareholders are never going to see a return on investment, so why not put them out of their misery and take the company private? Hell the only folks that made any money on this deal are insiders anyway. So take the company private, remove the quarterly pressure and public disclosures, retrench and maybe get it right for a future offering. Divest the CPE product line to a company that wants to develop that segment and commit to making the product a real player in the enterprise market.

Clearly the parts are more valuable than the whole! Customers, employees and Shareholders would all benefit and the Board would finally look like they know what they are doing. IMHO – DrVoIP
From the desk of DrVoIP