Avaya Returning to the Public Markets

Telecommunications and networking vendor Avaya files for IPO four years after it went private.

The market for tech IPOs is hot again.

The latest vendor to try its hand at the IPO market is telecommunications and networking vendor Avaya. Avaya filed a Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday for an IPO that is set to raise $1 billion.

Avaya's IPO is for 20 percent of the shares in the company and will value the total company at approximately $5 billion.

The IPO will mark a return to the public markets for Avaya, which was public until 2007 when a group of private investors took the company private in an $8.2 billion deal.

As a corporate entity, Avaya began its existence within AT&T and was part of the Lucent Technologies spinoff in 1996. Four years later in the year 2000, Avaya was spunoff from Lucent and began trading on the NYSE in October of 2000.

The return to the public market is a bid by Avaya's ownership to help take advantage of a growing market.

"We have a long track record of innovation and our customers historically have relied on us to deliver mission critical communications solutions," Avaya stated in its S-1 filing. "The markets for areas associated with our business collaboration and communications solutions are expected to represent a $77 billion market in 2011 in the aggregate."

Avaya revealed in the S-1 that for fiscal 2010 it had generated $5 billion in revenue. The company currently employs 18,925 people.

The Avaya that is now returning to the public market is in some respects a broader company than it was back in 2007. Avaya now has a networking division that it acquired from Nortel in 2009 for $900 million. Avaya's networking division recently released a new virtual service switch as part of its overall Virtual Enterprise Network Architecture (VENA) portfolio.

On the traditional telecom side, Avaya has been pushing forward on leveraging its networking smarts as part of the Flare collaboration platform. Avaya is also moving forward with an avatar-based collaboration platform called web.alive which was announced earlier this year.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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