Limelight lightens its load

Contact: Ben Kolada

In a move to streamline its operations, Limelight Networks is divesting its EyeWonder assets to DG FastChannel. Although the deal comes at a considerable discount – DG’s $66m all-cash offer is only slightly more than half the amount that Limelight paid in cash and stock for EyeWonder less than two years ago – it should help the ailing CDN vendor focus on its core business. It could even pave the way for a sale of Limelight.

As my colleague Jim Davis notes, Limelight’s original decision to buy EyeWonder appeared strategically sound. The idea was that EyeWonder would funnel new customers to the Limelight CDN. That could have worked, but a missed development target meant that ad agencies were taking business elsewhere this year. As a result, revenue for the acquired company essentially flatlined. When Limelight picked up EyeWonder in December 2009, the target generated some $35m in trailing sales. The outlook two years later isn’t much better. New owner DG FastChannel indicated that it expects revenue from the acquired property to max out at $37m this year.

Wall Street appears to back the asset sale. Following the announcement, shares of Limelight closed the day up nearly 6% on volume that was almost triple the monthly average. Although the company has lost half its market value this year, due in large part to flat revenue growth and third-quarter revenue guidance that came in below analysts’ expectations, an opportunistic acquirer could swoop in to scoop up the company. Following the slide in share price, Limelight is sporting a market cap of just $300m. Add in the more than $100m of cash in its coffers and little debt, and the company could be had for relatively cheap for an opportunistic buyer.