Home / Today's Top Stories / Moscom readies spinoff
of Votan subsidiary

Moscom readies spinoff
of Votan subsidiary

Moscom Corp. is spinning off its Votan Corp. subsidiary, which on Friday filed for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company announced today.
Moscom has postponed the firm’s semi-annual 2-cents-a-share cash dividend until Votan’s IPO is completed.

Moscom readies spinoff
of Votan subsidiary

Moscom Corp. is spinning off its Votan Corp. subsidiary, which on Friday filed for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company announced today.
Moscom has postponed the firm’s semi-annual 2-cents-a-share cash dividend until Votan’s IPO is completed. A company official said that could happen as early as mid-August.
The pending offering already has tweaked shareholder value for Moscom, said Theodore Levy, director of research for Essex Capital Markets Inc.
Moscom’s stock, trading near an all-time high today of $16.50, started climbing in May as the deal was shopped on Wall Street, Levy said. In late 1995, the stock had fallen as low as $5.75 a share.
The offering for Votan–a developer of speech technologies based in Pleasanton, Calif.–consists of 2.75 million shares of common stock. Of those, Votan will sell 1.38 million shares, with the remaining shares sold by Moscom.
After the offering, Moscom will hold a 60 percent stake in the firm.
The offering is expected to raise $15 million for each firm, said Robert Boxer, Moscom’s vice president, corporate counsel and secretary.
Votan intends to use its proceeds for sales and marketing, as well as for its research and development efforts.
The unit already is beefing up its staff of 12 employees, a number that could reach more than 20 by year’s end, Boxer said. On the management side, Jack White was hired last month as the firm’s CEO. The division’s former general manager, Richard Vail, will stay on as vice president of engineering and operations.
Acquired by Moscom in September 1991, Votan designs and markets a range of speech-recognition and voice-verification products, including a voice-activated voice-mail system launched in February.
Called MVM for Windows, the system is designed for use with rotary phones and taps international markets, where touchtone service frequently is unavailable. Versions of the product are available in Spanish, Portuguese and German.
In June, a version with features for the hotel industry hit the market.
Votan also developed a voice-verification product being marketed to the commercial security market. In April, Chemical Bank began using the product in customer-identification trials at two branches. The systems verify the identity of customers prior to performing their banking transactions, and eventually could be used at ATMs and for banking by phone.
As a carve-out operation, Votan’s revenues are in the $500,000 to $600,000 range, Boxer said. The division was not profitable in 1995.
Moscom plans to use proceeds from its sale of Votan common stock for working capital and possible acquisitions. The Pittsford firm is not currently in negotiations for an acquisition, Boxer said.

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