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Five9 investors may do Zoom a favor

Zoom Video Communications’ (ZM.O) acquisition of Five9 (FIVN.O) is unraveling. Washington watchdogs are probing the transaction and Five9 investors may not vote for the all-stock deal. The value of what Zoom is offering has fallen from $13.6 billion to about $10.4 billion in roughly two months and is now below Five9’s market capitalization. Zoom should see this as an opportunity.

True, the company run by Eric Yuan could offer more stock or add cash. It has $5 billion on its balance sheet. But it was already paying a pretty penny , about 28 times Five9’s sales for the 12 months ending June. That’s above what fellow communications-software hotshots Twilio (TWLO.N), Nice (NICE.TA) and LivePerson (LPSN.O) command, according to data from Refinitiv.

Zoom hoped to cross-sell its offering with Five9’s to boost growth as things return to normal, which makes strategic sense. But not at any price. In any case, analysts still reckon Zoom’s top line will increase nearly 19% to $4.7 billion at the end of January 2023, and it still trades at 17 times forward sales. Staying solo a while longer isn’t so bad. Reuters

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