NEW YORK (Reuters) - Neustar Inc, a company which helps North American telecommunication carriers route calls and text messages, is considering a potential sale amid interest from private equity firms, according to people familiar with the matter.
No formal sale process is currently underway but Neustar is working with investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co as it reviews possible options following a more than 40 percent drop in its share price year-to-date, the people said this week.
Much of Neustar's woes stem from a major government contract it stands to lose to Ericsson AB subsidiary Telcordia Technologies. A sale process may not start until the winner of that contract has been finalized, the people said.
Some buyout firms have already expressed interest in a leveraged buyout of Neustar, which has a market value of $1.6 billion, and would consider buying it even without that contract, the people added.
The sources cautioned that Neustar may decide against a sale and asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. Neustar and JPMorgan declined to comment.
(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis, Nadia Damouni and Liana B. Baker in New York; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)