Just when you thought a bizarre story couldn’t get any more bizarre: Ubiquiti Networks CEO Robert Pera has agreed to buy the Memphis Grizzlies basketball team for $350 million.
Because about the last thing you would think Pera, 34, needs to add to his title right now is basketball owner.
Little-known (certainly from a buzz standpoint) Ubiquiti has been one of Silicon Valley’s fastest growing companies, with a model so unusual (a hardware company with software company-like net margins) that it recently attracted high-profile and widely respected venture capitalist Bill Gurley of Benchmark Capital as a personal investor and director.
But as I pointed out in a piece last week headlined, “ Why Ubiquiti Networks Is So Controversial ," the company is also one of Wall Street’s hottest battleground stocks. As of May 15, 54 percent of its float were sold short, with the bears raising red flags over a myriad of issues, including earnings quality. (See clarification)
Pera founded Ubiquiti in 2003, but it wasn’t really actively operating until 2005 selling wireless internet products, mostly to emerging markets.
Last year revenue topped $197 million, more than tripled two years earlier, based on a stripped down model of selling online through distributors, mostly in emerging markets, with only 18 percent of the sales in the U.S.Page 1 of 4 | Next Page