Feature Article

January 16, 2013

Alvarion Selling its WiMAX Divsion, Fortissimo Capital Showing Interest

Alvarion Ltd., a source of optimized wireless broadband solutions, recently put its WiMAX division up for sale, and Fortissimo Capital is said to be in talks to buy it. Some sources have also stated that a company based out of India and a U.S. investment fund have expressed interest in the division, but only Fortissimo is known to be in formal discussions with the seller.

Neither the sale of the WiMAX division nor Fortissimo's interest comes as much of a surprise, as Alvarion stated several months ago that it was looking into selling its WiMAX business as an option, while Fortissimo has in the past tried to acquire Alvarion in its entirety.

While Alvarion and Fortissimo have yet to comment on this potential sale, it’s been reported that the former will sell the WiMAX division for a price somewhere in the tens of millions of dollars, while part of the proceeds will be subject to predetermined milestones. It's also worth noting that, while the division boasts tens of millions of dollars in annual sales, it also hasn't been profitable for several quarters.

Meanwhile, it has been speculated that if Fortissimo acquires the division, it will likely be merged with the company's Telrad Networks subsidiary, which itself hasn't proven a successful investment for Fortissimo thus far.

Alvarion was created through the merger of Breezecom and Floware in 2001 with the goal of providing wireless broadband communications equipment based on WiMAX technology, which has lost out to LTE for 4G networks in recent years. As such, Alvarion has turned to other technologies, acquiring Wavion Networks from Elron Electronic Industries for this very purpose in 2011.

Perhaps the company's recent performance was a factor in resigning of chief financial officer Lior Shemesh in December. Shemesh said he was leaving Alvarion to pursue other career opportunities.

Still, though, even without its WiMAX division, the company still has its vertical enterprise communications solutions business, and its mobile capacity and coverage solutions and network traffic solutions business.

Edited by Braden Becker

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