Vonage Urged to Consider Sale, Float, According to Financial Times

Vonage Holdings Corp., which provides residential phone services over the Internet, is being urged to consider a sale while it presses ahead with plans for a public float, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Financial Times said UBS and Deutsche Bank, the investment banks chosen by Vonage to underwrite its stock market listing, have been suggesting the company pursue a "parallel process."

This would involve seeking out or responding to expressions of interest from potential buyers while moving forward with plans to raise up to $600 million from a listing.

A takeover agreement struck last week for auction Web site EBay Inc. to buy Internet phone-calling phenomenon Skype for up to $4.1 billion has lead to suggestions that Vonage could also fetch a generous price in a sale.

Analysts have estimated that Vonage, which is based in New Jersey, is worth between $1 billion and $1.5 billion, the newspaper said.

Vonage provides discounted local and long-distance phone services to about 800,000 households, making it the largest U.S. Internet-based phone company.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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