- US telecom test solutions provider Viavi Solutions has upped its offer to acquire all outstanding subordinate and multiple voting shares of Canadian optical network test instrumentation company Exfo.
- The U.S. company’s offer to Exfo shareholders increases from US$7.50 to US$8.00 in cash per share.
- This proposal from Viavi, which now values Exfo at approximately US$459 million on an undiluted basis, was again rejected by Germain Lamonde, Exfo’s founder and executive chairman of the board.
This is the fourth time Viavi has made an offer to acquire Exfo after its previous attempts in November 2020 at a price of US$4.75, in May 2021 at a price of US$5.25, and in June at a price of US$7.50.
Germain Lamonde, founder and executive chairman of the board of Exfo, and who holds 61% of the outstanding shares and 94% of the voting rights, once again told Viavi and the Exfo board of directors: “As a controlling shareholder of Exfo, I would not consider any transaction with Viavi or any other change of control transaction. Viavi was well aware that I would reject any new non-binding and unworkable interim proposal which, in my opinion, only serves to distort the current privatization process and ultimately only aims to eliminate Viavi’s main competitor. This is certainly not in the interest of Viavi and Exfo’s customers, as they will end up paying much higher prices for the products we sell, with fewer services and without the benefit of Exfo’s incredible innovative engine.”
Germain Lamonde had already made it known in June that he had informed Exfo’s board of directors that he was not considering any transaction with Viavi and that the board had therefore made the decision not to discuss a possible transaction with Viavi for a change of control of the company. He had even clearly stated: “My shares are not for sale”.
Faced with this new bid by Viavi, Mr. Lamonde states that his position has not changed: “Since June 7, I have been very clear and unequivocal to Exfo shareholders that they have the choice to accept my formal offer of US$6.00 per Subordinate Voting Share or to remain shareholders of a public company. My position has not changed since then, nor will it change, no matter how many times Exfo’s main competitor tries to disrupt the process for their own gain.”