NICE to acquire LiveVox in $350 million deal - Image by Naor Eliyahu from PixabayNICE has announced the acquisition of LiveVox for around $350 million. The acquisition price is substantially below what the company was valued at when it first listed in June 2021. The shares fell significantly to a low of $1.49 in July 2022 before starting to make a recovery. The acquisition is due to be completed in the first half of 2024. Subject to regulatory clearances and certain closing conditions. At that point, LIveVox will delist from the NASDAQ. NICE is offering $3.74 in cash for each share of LiveVox common stock, the share price at the close on the 4th of October was $3.62, having risen from $3.31 the day before.

Importantly, LIveVox turned positive at the end of 2022. NICE believes that the acquisition will be cash flow positive and accretive to the operating income, operating margin and non-GAAP EPS during 2024. That seems a bold statement. It depends upon how it factors in the costs of consolidation in jobs and offices. The deal will also not impact NICE’s share buyback program.

Bringing the two companies together

The LiveVox AI-driven proactive outreach provider will complement CXone and Enlighten with a platform that will bring interactions across multiple channels into a single location. It will enable organisations to deploy conversational AI across every channel. Both inbound and outbound, enabling them to create unique and personalised experiences for every customer.

Barak Eilam, CEO of NICE
Barak Eilam, CEO of NICE

Barak Eilam, CEO NICE, said, Today, we are taking another major step in making smart conversational AI a reality. The era of Digital Engagement is already here and we are excited to enable organizations to propel their Digital Engagement and Conversational AI forward. In joining forces with LiveVox we now have the strongest and broadest proactive outreach portfolio. NICE has a remarkable track record in augmenting its leading innovation with complementary acquisitions.

“I am excited about this acquisition, and I am positive that together with the experienced and talented LiveVox team we will create an outstanding incremental value to our customers and shareholders.”

While there is a crossover between the two platforms, there are some obvious synergies. Once the application is completed, it will be interesting to understand the integration strategy. Also how NICE will continue to support the existing LIveVox customers while enhancing and offering its capabilities seamlessly to its existing user base.

John DiLullo, CEO of LiveVox, said, “This is great news for our customers, employees, and shareholders. NICE is an amazing organization, and its breadth, reach and commitment to continuous innovation promise to amplify our growth and the capabilities of the complementary solutions we can bring to market together. Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a thrilling new chapter for LiveVox, and we are excited to embark on this journey alongside a prominent global leader in Customer Experience platforms and trusted AI solutions.”

More than just technology

While there are features within the LiveVox platform that NICE can benefit from, the acquisition will also offer other benefits. The acquisition will also give NICE access to a significant roster of enterprises. These includes American First Finance, Centauri Medicaid and MedAssist. LiveVox also has a vibrant partner ecosystem; though most of these are technology partners, it does have six VARs.

At the core of the LiveVox blended omnichannel platform are three core components. An omnichannel/AI capability that includes virtual agents, support for in and outbound and support across digital channels such as chat, SMS and email. The second pillar is workforce engagement with workforce management, quality management and performance analysis. The third pillar is contact centre CRM with multinational campaign configuration, unified customer profiles and ticketing support. It is this comprehensive platform that CXone now has access to. It will be interesting to see how the combined companies evolve the two or a combined CCaaS solution.

In the press release, NICE has focused on the benefits the combined organisation can bring to customers, noting:

Joining forces, NICE and LiveVox will help enterprises around the globe to create proactive, personalized experiences for their end customers, meeting them on their preferred channel using a method that is right for them, mastering CX in the Digital and AI era with:

– an interaction-centric cloud platform
– convergence of knowledge, data, channels and CX capabilities
– purpose-built AI that fuses people, technology and processes

Beyond the technology and the customer base, the acquisition will also give NICE access to an experienced team of experts across sales service and development. According to LinkedIn, the company has around 500 employees with offices in San Francisco, Atlanta, Columbus, Denver, New York City, St. Louis, Medellin (Colombia) and Bangalore (India).

Enterprise Times: What does this mean?

Merger or acquisition is the question. It sees two competing firms in the CCaaS sector coming together. Both firms were recently listed in Frost and Sullivan Radar and the Forrester Wave reports. LiveVox was a contender, and NICE was a leader. It is adding hundreds of enterprise customers and will no doubt hope to cross-sell solutions to them. However, this acquisition comes with the challenge that many mergers face for similar organisations.

This is the biggest acquisition that NICE has done recently, and it will be interesting, over the next few months, to see how it intends to progress it and whether it can keep the key staff from LiveVox to supplement its teams. While the legal and finance process unfolds, there will be a lot of work happening to bring the companies closer.

The question for NICE shareholders is whether NICE has got a good deal for LiveVox. Removing a competitor from the market has benefits, and can NICE, with its better global reach, provide LiveVox with the capability to expand into new geographic areas? It all depends upon that technology strategy.

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