Patent licensing company WiLan considering selling itself

Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:44am EDT

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(Reuters) - Canadian patent licensing company WiLan Inc (WIN.TO) (WILN.O) said it was exploring strategic options, including selling itself.

The move comes less than a week after the company lost a patent lawsuit against Apple Inc (AAPL.O). WiLan's shares plunged 23 percent after October 24 ruling that also resulted in several analysts downgrading the stock.

WiLan's primary business is acquiring ownership of intellectual property and then seeking to charge fees to companies that use it. The company, which has a market value of about $357 million, holds more than 3,000 patents.

Options being considered include changes to the dividend policy or other forms of return of capital to shareholders, buying or selling of assets, and joint ventures, WiLan said in a statement on Wednesday.

The company said it had not set a timetable for completion of the review process and that it does not plan to comment further unless a specific option is approved by the board or the process is completed.

Canaccord Genuity is serving as financial adviser and Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP is advising on legal matters.

The company's Toronto-listed shares have slumped 32 percent this year. The stock, however, trades at 49 times forward earnings, a big premium to the sector median of about 13.

(Reporting by Sayantani Ghosh in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey and Sriraj Kalluvila)

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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