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Verifone’s Former CEO Would Make A Buyout Offer For The Right Price

In an interview with Bloomberg, former Chief Executive Officer Doug Bergeron said if Verifone’s stock price hits $11 or $12 a share, he is ready and able to launch a buyout of the company.

“I’d envision lots of people being interested, including myself,” said Bergeron, who led the company for 12 years as the CEO before getting pushed out on the back of lackluster results in 2013. “I could raise the capital to buy the company at a week’s notice,” he said in an interview.

A spokesman for Verifone told Bloomberg the company doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation.

Shares of Verifone have been under pressure so far this year, resulting from a drawn out certification process for new chip card terminals that have pushed back sales in the U.S. It’s also facing competition in emerging markets, in the SMB market with tablet providers and a more macro threat related to contemplated changes in-store as the physical point of sale process is rethought.

In June, Verifone slashed its outlook for all of 2016, saying it expects revenue to come in at $2.1 billion and earnings per share for the full year at $1.85 a share. In the first quarter Verifone had upped its guidance for the full year, saying back then it expected EPS between $2.21 and $2.24 on revenue of $2.15 billion to $2.17 billion. Analysts at the time had expected Verifone to weigh in with EPS of $2.23 a share and revenue of $2.2 billion.

The company also said when it cut its guidance that it is embarking on a strategic review that should involve a variety of cost-cutting initiatives, including layoffs. 

Earlier in the year, in a fireside chat with Karen Webster, Verifone CEO Paul Galant spoke about the changes the terminal business, writ large, was facing, noting that Verifone’s legacy was a company that was trying to do everything.

“I think there’s a lot of great innovation [at Verifone], I just can’t do it all and make any kind of return,” he explained in the chat with Webster. “I have to be very careful, I think all of us do, about creating platforms that allow people to experiment at a low cost and scale at a relatively low cost – that’s the innovation I care most about.” Scale, and placing bets on things that could, Galant emphasized, was his primary focus and required some tough calls.

Verifone’s transformation from a terminal company to a commerce player has been bumpy, but for Galant, there’s one focus that trumps them all, he told Webster.

“What I worry about is how do we live up to our potential,” Galant said. 

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