Wi-LAN exploring new business model, possible sale as part of strategic review

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OTTAWA – Wi-LAN Inc. (TSX:WIN) says it’s exploring a broad range of strategic alternatives in light of its current low share price, including a possible sale of the company, a new dividend policy or other business models.

The Ottawa-based company, which generates revenue by licensing technology patents, says it doesn’t believe current market prices reflect the true value of Wi-LAN’s stock.

Wi-LAN’s announcement comes less than a week after its shares plunged nearly 23 per cent in one day following an unfavourable jury decision in a legal battle with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL).

The company attempted to downplay the impact of the decision, saying it affected only one patent that expires within months and wouldn’t have a bearing on other licensing agreements.

Despite Wi-LAN’s assurances, its stock fell 92 cents to $3.16 in extremely heavy trading on Oct. 24, a day after the ruling.

The shares gained 18 cents after the strategic review was announced Wednesday, trading at $3.28 at midday, but remained down about 20 per cent from before the Apple ruling was announced.

On Wednesday, Wi-LAN said the company “strongly believes in its current business strategy but does not believe that its current share price accurately reflects its strong balance sheet, the value of its signed licence agreements, its business prospects or the residual value of its broad intellectual property portfolio.”

“Strategic alternatives to be considered may include changes to the company’s dividend policy or other forms of return of capital to shareholders, the acquisition or disposition of assets, joint ventures, the sale of the company, alternative operating models or continuing with the current business plan, among other potential alternatives.”

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