Internet company wants to focus on domain name registry, other core operations.
November 14 2007: 7:30 AM EST
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- VeriSign Inc. plans to shed a slew of business units to focus on securing online transactions and managing the ".com" and ".net" domain name registry.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company is scheduled to announce its plans, though not any done deals, on Wednesday in a meeting with analysts.
Chief Executive Bill Roper said in an interview beforehand that he will outline the results of the company's recent review of its business units. It plans to sell businesses where it's not the clear front-runner and focus on areas where it is, Roper said.
Roper declined to name a price for any division, and he said the company has not selected all divisions to be sold.
) primary technology is behind some of the most common activities on the Internet, including making sure that Web surfers can reach sites with ".com" and ".net" domain names and that Internet shoppers have an encrypted line of communication with online merchants.
But the company has sprawled out in recent years and today boasts a boggling list of products and services that includes supply chain consulting, banking technology for cell phones and Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, offerings.
The biggest units up for sale are the communications division, which focuses on telecommunications routing technologies, and a unit that processes transactions for wireless providers, Roper said.
"We're getting a lot of interest," he said. "It's not a matter of these being cats and dogs that nobody's interested in. It's just a matter of, we might not be the best home for those businesses."
Fresh from a management shake-up and a stock-options accounting mess, VeriSign hopes to placate investors who grew disenchanted with the company's prospects under former Chief Executive Stratton Sclavos, who abruptly resigned in May for undisclosed reasons after 12 years as CEO.