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Avaya to Plan Auction After Getting Unsolicited Interest

Kiel Porter and Gillian Tan

(Bloomberg) -- Communications software company Avaya Holdings Corp. is preparing to run a sale process for the company following unsolicited interest from potential buyers, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Santa Clara, California-based Avaya is working with an investment bank to run an auction after receiving inquiries from private equity and other firms, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

Potential bidders are understood to include private equity firms Apollo Global Management LLC, Permira Holdings and Searchlight Capital Partners, the people said. Bids are expected at the end of April and the firms may look to make joint offers, the people said.

An Avaya spokesman said the company didn’t comment on rumors or speculation. A representative for Permira didn’t respond to a request for comment. Representatives for Apollo and Searchlight declined to comment.

Shares rose 2.8 percent to $18.24 at 11:24 a.m. in New York trading Tuesday, giving the company a market value of about $2 billion. Shares rose as high as 4.6 percent earlier in the day.

Avaya, which also provides desktop equipment and services, exited bankruptcy protection in December 2017 and began trading publicly, almost a year after being placed in Chapter 11 by its private equity owners TPG and Silver Lake. The two private equity firms had taken the company private in 2007 in a deal valued at more than $8 billion.

Reuters reported earlier that Avaya was considering a possible buyout that would value it at $5 billion including debt.

(Updates share price in fifth paragraph.)

To contact the reporters on this story: Kiel Porter in Chicago at kporter17@bloomberg.net;Gillian Tan in New York at gtan129@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Elizabeth Fournier at efournier5@bloomberg.net, ;Alan Goldstein at agoldstein5@bloomberg.net, Michael Hytha, Matthew Monks

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