February 21, 2011
By Josh Long
As the U.S. telecommunications sector continues to consolidate, a California-based communications provider managed partly by a trio of brothers and their father is likely to be in the mix of mergers and acquisitions.
Privately held VoIP provider AireSpring has examined, as potential acquisition targets, telecom providers with annual revenues ranging between a few million dollars and $100 million, AireSpring CEO Avi Lonstein said in a recent interview with Channel Partners magazine.
Weve grown dramatically through organic growth over the years. Were not a company that has to do an acquisition solely for the sake of doing an acquisition,” said Lonstein, who noted his company is profitable and debt-free. We have the luxury of doing a deal because its the right thing to do, not because its the hip thing to do.”
Lonstein explained the benefits of consolidation in the U.S. communications sector.
We believe this business continues to require scale,” he said. Each company supporting the same base of customers has the same regulatory costs that are fixed, similar network costs, similar costs for customer service, accounting, HR and those can be truly duplicative and actually it weighs down many companies and their ability to compete in the marketplace,” he said.
Van Nuys, Calif.-based AireSpring employs about 125 individuals, focuses on small and midsized businesses, and relies heavily on its channel partners to drive sales.
Lonstein said consolidation in the communications sector has not always resulted in a favorable outcome for the indirect sales channel.
Weve seen what I call bad deals for the channel, good deals for the channel,” he said. We get the channel. We understand it. I think it becomes more important than ever to partner with those companies that protect the channel, understand the channel, support the channel.”
Founded in 2001, AireSpring is largely a family-run affair.
Tony Lonstein, executive vice president of investor relations, is Avis dad. AireSpring Chief Operating Officer Daniel Lonstein and Executive Vice President of Product Management David Lonstein are Avis brothers.
Were a very close family,” Avi Lonstein said. This is a family affair that goes well past the hours of business.”
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