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Syniverse completes ‘plan B’ as Twilio invests $750m

Andrew Davies Syniverse.jpg

Twilio has invested US$750 million in Syniverse, in a completion of “plan B” of the messaging company’s plan following the collapse of a project to get it listed.

The completion of the deal follows a decision in February 2022 by Syniverse to drop its plan for a $2.85 billion reverse takeover that would have seen the company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Instead, Syniverse has stayed majority-owned by the Carlyle private equity group, with the $750 million investment by Twilio as a way of providing additional finance. This Twilio investment first emerged in February as an alternative to the NYSE listing.

Syniverse CEO Andrew Davies said: “This transaction provides Syniverse with the enhanced liquidity and financial flexibility that will enable us to accelerate investment in innovation, product quality, and breadth to benefit our enterprise and carrier customers around the world.”

Twilio, which is itself listed on the NYSE, said it “has invested $750 million for common equity in Syniverse, and the two companies have expanded their strategic and commercial partnership”.

Carlyle remains the majority shareholder, but the $750 million will give Twilio a strong voice.

Back in February the aborted reverse takeover and listing would have valued Syniverse at $2.85 billion, implying Twilio has a 26% effective stake if that valuation still applies.

Syniverse has also raised $1.025 billion in new term loan debt and $340 million in new preferred equity, the proceeds of which were primarily used to reduce debt, said the company.

Davies said: “Our partnership with Twilio, combined with our enhanced balance sheet following this new infusion of capital, leaves us well positioned to more effectively monetize the 5G and CPaaS [communications platform as a service] revolutions, deepen our engagement with our customers across key industry verticals and create long-term value and opportunity for all our stakeholders.”

Syniverse said it “will benefit from Twilio’s breadth of experience serving enterprise customers to capitalize on the next wave of growth in digital communications”, and that it “will also be even better positioned to serve its carrier customers and support continued innovation, customer service and lasting growth”.

Twilio’s senior VP Simon Khalaf, who is general manager of its communications platform activities, said: “We are pleased to have closed this partnership and investment to accelerate the next wave of innovation in mobile communications and drive long-term growth.”

Carlyle’s James Attwood, who became executive chairman in 2020, on the retirement of previous CEO Dean Douglas, said: “Today marks a new day for Syniverse and for Carlyle’s investment in the business. We look forward to continuing to partner with Syniverse and Twilio to accelerate the next wave of innovation in intelligent connectivity and communications.”

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