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Updated: OnMobile gets buyback approval upto Rs 49 Cr at max Rs 86 per share

Update: More information on the proposed share buyback (pdf):

– OnMobile plans to buy a minimum of 2.9 million shares and a maximum of 5.8 million shares. At Rs 86 per share, the minimum offer proceeds is at Rs 24.94 crore and the maximum proceeds is at Rs 49 crore.

– The buyback will be from the open market and OnMobile will implement this buyback from the current surplus and cash balances. The company has Rs 289.8 crore in cash & cash equivalents as of September 30, 2014.

– The buyback will close within six months of opening the offer. The board has the option to close the offer earlier provided at least 50% of the amount earmarked for the buyback has been utilized, by giving appropriate notice and completing all requisite formalities.

– OnMobile should not buy shares from its promoters, promoter group, “persons in control and persons acting in concert”. Following this buyback, OnMobile should not raise further capital or make another buyback offer for one year.

Earlier: OnMobile Global board has approved a share buyback for an amount not more than Rs 49 crore, at a maximum of Rs 86 per share. Following this approval, the company’s shares surged by 5% to Rs 72.60, from previous day’s close price of Rs 69.15.

This buyback comes at a particularly turbulent time for OnMobile as it had laid off around 383 employees during the quarter, in a bid to become profitable by the end of the financial year (ending 31st March 2015). The company had reported a net loss of Rs 1.21 crore in the preceeding quarter, as compared with a profit of Rs 1.5 crore reported for the same quarter last year.

The new board and management team is narrowing its focus to a few sub-segments of its business, multiple employees had told MediaNama, and it appears that the investor group has taken board and management control of the company. As part of the changes, OnMobile executives that had shifted to the Livewire team in the US have been asked to leave. Livewire had a target of becoming profitable within 12 months, and the business is still in red. More on OnMobile layoffs here.

Changes in OnMobile Management

The recent changes in Onmobile’s management have also been significant:

Francois Charles Sirois

– Francois Charles Sirois was appointed OnMobile Global chairman after HH (Tony) Haight had resigned as OnMobile Global chairman and board director. Sirois is the President and CEO of Onmobile Systems Inc, which is the promoter company of Onmobile Global and its largest shareholder. He had been appointed as an additional director to OnMobile board in June this year.

– OnMobile co-founder Mouli Raman had stepped down as the managing director and CEO in May this year. He had also resigned from OnMobile board a month later and was declassified as a promoter last week.

Rajiv Pancholy

– Rajiv Pancholy was appointed as the CEO of OnMobile Global in May this year and given additional charge of managing director in June this year.

– OnMobile CFO Rajesh Kunnath had resigned in February. Kunnath left to pursue another opportunity, and as per his LinkedIn profile he has returned to Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd.

– Praveen Kumar was appointed as OnMobile CFO in September this year. He is OnMobile’s fourth CFO in the past three years.

– Rentala Chandrashekhar, an Independent director on board at Onmobile, had resigned in April this year. Barry White had also resigned as OnMobile Global director in August this year. OnMobile had appointed Nancy Cruickshank and Bruno Ducharme as non-executive Additional Directors in July this year.

Other developments at OnMobile

– OnMobile wrote down Rs 68 crore from Telisma acquisition in May this year, since the market outlook for the core products in its target markets had apparently deteriorated.

– OnMobile had completed Voxmobili sale to Synchronoss for $26 million in July this year. It also settled an intellectual property violation case filed by Synchronoss, against Voxmobili, Onmobile Global and Onmobile USA LLC, as per which Synchronoss received $3 million from OnMobile.

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