Primus Aims to Buy Struggling Arbinet in All-Stock Deal

Primus Telecommunications Group hopes to buy wholesale interconnection specialist Arbinet Corp. in a stock-for-stock transaction worth around $28 million.

Arbinet which has watched its value slide this year amid stiff competition has 45 days to seek other offers. But if the deal goes through, Primus will add Arbinet to its global wholesale division, a move thats expected to contribute another $300 million to Primus annual revenue.

Primus sells voice, IP and broadband services to businesses, consumers and other operators in various parts of the world. It distributes many of its services through channel partners. Having Arbinets Exchange as part of its platform would give Primus access to additional traffic streams, better routes for termination of voice traffic and the ability to manage multiple segments of carrier customers,” said Peter Aquino, chairman, president and CEO of Primus, who will lead the combined company.

If the transaction progresses as planned, Arbinet will own 23 percent of Primus and Primus will own the remaining 77 percent.

Shawn ODonnell, Arbinets president and CEO, said the merger is the best strategy for Arbinet. Pricing pressures and rivals tactics have continued to affect our bottom line,” ODonnell said in a prepared statement. As a result, our board examined a range of strategic alternatives and after careful review, our board unanimously concluded that our merger with Primus is the best available option for our shareholders.”

Arbinet and Primus expect to close the deal which has been approved by both companies boards in the first quarter of 2011.

Shares of Arbinet were down 5.16 percent by about 2 p.m. Eastern, to $6.54, while shares of Primus had risen just more than 5 percent to $10.05.

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