Omaha-based West Corporation has been around for over 20 years, starting life as an inbound telemarketing service bureau in 1986. However, as the market evolved, so too did West, which has grown to become a leading global provider of voice-related solutions.
Earlier this week, the company announced its intention to continue on the next phase of its growth by going public with an initial public offering worth upwards of $532 million. As such, West Corporation will gain a listing on NASDAQ with the ticker symbol WSTC, joining other Omaha businesses Berkshire Hathaway, Valmont (News - Alert) Industries and TD Ameritrade.
Currently, West employs 3,700 people in the Omaha area and 35,700 around the globe, making it the largest provider in the U.S. of telephone conference calls as well as one of the top providers of 911 emergency switchboard software. In all, the company generates $2.6 billion in sales per year from its various businesses, including cloud computing and handling outsourced customer service inquiries.
Its subsidiary West Interactive is a global leader in delivering enterprise contact center transformation.
West will sell 21,275,000 shares in common stock to investors at a price between $22 and $25 per share, which will result in a total sale between $468 million and $532 million. However, the investment banks handling the deal — New York-based Goldman Sachs & Co. and Morgan Stanley & Co. — will be able to buy almost 3.2 million more shares if there is enough demand.
The only unknowns right now are what the exact price per share will be and when it will be decided on, as well as when the offering will go public. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the company, Dave Pleiss, said West will offer no additional comment on the IPO announcement in any capacity.
Apparently, the share-sale proceeds will go toward West's $3.9 billion of long-term debt, which outweighs its current $3.4 billion in assets. According to analysts, companies in such a situation are generally avoided, but since West Corporation is capable of generating strong, predictable cash flows can still attract investors. Furthermore, West expects seven percent annual growth in 911 system expenditures through until 2016, which is also likely to be attractive to investors.
After the offering, the company will have about 83 million shares outstanding.
Edited by Rich Steeves