A group of activist investors including Legion Partners, Engaged Capital and Ancora Advisors have been accumulating shares in BroadSoft Inc. (BSFT) in recent weeks, according to people familiar with the situation.
The insurgent investors are eager to see if the communications software firm will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of strategic alternatives, including a sale, they said.
That's a serious possibility as Reuters reported on Aug. 30, citing sources, that BroadSoft is exploring its options, including a possible sale of the company. The report added that the communications software company is working with investment bank Jefferies LLC to advise it on a strategic review and possible sale to another company or a private equity firm.
In addition, other funds that have taken activist actions in the past also own shares, including P2 Capital Partners. P2 Capital and another firm formed a group in 2014 and sought to buy Epiq Systems (EPIQ) for $20 a share, an offer that was later rejected.
In addition, at least one large computer technology company has expressed interested in buying Broadsoft. People familiar with the situation note that Oracle Corp. (ORCL) approached BroadSoft twice over the past three years to see if the company was interested in selling. Oracle and Broadsoft declined to comment.
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It's very possible that one of the activist funds could launch a battle seeking to install dissident directors should BroadSoft conclude that staying independent made the most sense. Some of the activists, including Engaged Capital, Ancora Advisors and Legion Partners, have a track record that suggests they could instigate a director fight in the months to come to help drive a sale. Engaged Capital has launched 24 campaigns and 12 boardroom battles since 2013; Ancora initiated 37 campaigns and six proxy contests since 2003 and Legion has been involved in 10 campaigns and four director fights since 2012, according to FactSet.