GO
Loading...

UPDATE 1-Velti to sell businesses to Blackstone, US ops file for bankruptcy

Monday, 4 Nov 2013 | 8:32 AM ET

* To sell mobile marketing business in US, UK, India

* To sell the business to Blackstone unit GSO Capital

* Says ad exchange Mobclix to wind down business

* Shares trade at 8 cents vs $20 peak two years ago

Nov 4 (Reuters) - Ireland's Velti Plc said it would sell its mobile marketing business in the United States, Britain and India to a unit of Blackstone Group LP, and that it had filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 for its remaining U.S. operations.

The company restructuring follows more than a year of losses and a build up in unpaid bills by customers that have contributed to a breach of debt covenants.

It has been particularly hit by the meltdown in Greece and Cyprus, two countries where it wrote down more than $100 million in receivables in the second quarter ended June.

Velti shares collapsed in price on Monday, with just a few trades at around 8 U.S. cents premarket, down from Friday's closing price on the Nasdaq of 29 cents.

The shares peaked at $20 each in 2011, the year the company listed.

Velti reported revenue of $31.2 million for the second quarter, just over half that of a year ago. It is yet to report third-quarter results.

Velti's mobile ad exchange, Mobclix, filed a Chapter 7 petition on Monday to wind down that business.

The company said in August that Web publishers moved off its Mobclix platform as it was unable to pay them on time, driving down the company's advertising revenue.

Mobclix and rivals such as Google's AdMob and Apple iAd operate platforms that help publishers sell online advertising.

GSO Capital Partners LP, the credit division of Blackstone, has committed to provide up to $25 million in debtor-in-possession financing, including a $10 million cash injection, to support the operations it is buying, Velti said.

Velti, whose customers include Russian mobile operator MTS , said its operations outside the United States, including in Greece, China, Brazil, Russia and the United Arab Emirates, will continue business as usual.

The company's remaining businesses include the mGage advertising and marketing platform and the Velti Media mobile advertising network.

Blackstone's GSO also assumed debt from HSBC as part of the deal, Velti said.

Velti got a $50 million revolving credit from HSBC in 2012 by providing substantially all its assets as security. The company said in April it had drawn down most of the credit. ()

Roth Capital Partners had placed the stock under review in September saying, "we are particularly troubled by the rate of cash outflow, and prospects for the company to satisfy its debt and working capital requirements while management restructures and reorganizes."

  Price   Change %Change
VELTF
---
BX
---