Violin Memory Has Received Buyout Interest, Investor Says

Violin Memory Inc. (VMEM), the maker of flash-memory storage that’s plunged in value since its initial public offering last year, has attracted takeover interest, the Clinton Group Inc., an activist shareholder, said.

Violin has received informal inquiries, Gregory Taxin, the president of New York-based Clinton Group, said in an interview today at the Activist Investor Conference. Clinton Group wrote a letter to Violin’s board last month telling the company that it should seek to sell itself to a strategic buyer.

It’s “ridiculous” for Violin to be an independent company, Taxin said. He said that he doesn’t know the identity of potential buyers and added that the manufacturer received offers of more than $700 million prior to its September IPO. Violin has lost 59 percent of its value since its public debut and has a market capitalization of about $305 million.

Violin rose 6.9 percent today to $3.58 at the close in New York after Taxin’s comments. Suzanne Chan, a spokeswoman for Mountain View, California-based Violin, declined to comment.

Clinton Group’s funds own a “meaningful stake” in Violin, the firm said in the letter last month, without disclosing the size. Violin responded at the time by saying that it “welcomes the perspective of its shareholders and values their input.”

Violin’s board fired Chief Executive Officer Don Basile in December, and earlier this month Chief Operating Officer Dixon R. Doll Jr. resigned. The company has struggled to compete against larger competitors and is generating quarterly losses that exceed revenue.

To contact the reporters on this story: Joshua Fineman in New York at jfineman@bloomberg.net; Ari Levy in San Francisco at alevy5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net

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