Mitel IPO Nets $147M, Falls Short of Projections

Mitel Networks Corp. (MITL) made $147.4 million from its initial public offering last week, the company said on Tuesday.

Mitel, which makes communications networking equipment, priced its IPO lower than analysts and investors had expected, at $14 rather than $18-$20. The $147.4 million, then, falls far short of the hoped-for $180 million.

Mitel plans to use the IPO proceeds to pay down debt. The company’s regulatory filings show loans and credit facilities totaling about $440 million at the beginning of this year.

Trading began on the NASDAQ Global Market on April 22. By noon on April 27, Mitel’s shares had fallen 2.89 percent to $11.75.

Mitel, headquartered in Canada, first tried to go public in 2006 but ended those efforts as the global economy soured. This time, Mitel hit Wall Street with the help of BofA Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan and UBS Investment Bank, as well as Piper Jaffray, Genuity Capital Markets, and JMP Securities.

“This is an exciting milestone for Mitel,” CEO Don Smith said in a prepared statement. “It is a testament to the commitment of our employees, our strong customer and partner relationships, and our position as a leader in the IP-based business communications market.”

Mitel was founded in 1973 by Terence Matthews. He lost control of his company years later, but bought back that ownership in 2001. Since then, Mitel has cut jobs, had a nasty patent dispute with ShoreTel, bought rival Inter-Tel in 2007, and cranked out new products, including mobile voice and data service. The company lost $193 million during its fiscal year 2009 but returned to profitability in the three months ended January with $33.2 million in income. Mitel competes with Avaya Inc., Cisco Systems Inc. and other hefty players.

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