TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Bob Paul, the new CEO of Covisint, is a little shy on the subject of an initial public offering.
An IPO remains a company goal, but it's not the hot topic of conversation.
Paul took over the top spot at Covisint on June 5 when Bruce Swift left for Metaldyne Inc. Paul says the exchange has not given up on going public but first must show potential investors that it can make money and do so over a period of time.
Paul spoke with Staff Reporter Ralph Kisiel in Traverse City.
Once you introduce your data messaging service, can you start talking about an IPO?
To look at it, you need to have at least three to four quarters of sustainable profitability. I think you need to have a proven track record of quality performance. In the portal area, we have got that.
Can you make money on your portal product, which can link an automaker with its entire supply chain?
The portal business line in and of itself is not enough to show a great increase in profits or margins.
It's healthy business, and it will grow. But the combined portal and Covisint Connect data messaging service, which starts Nov. 26, is something that would be of great interest to the public market.
Are you profitable?
We are operationally profitable today. Which means if you exclude past liabilities - the sins of the past - we're operationally profitable.
That happened in May, continued in June, and will continue for the balance of the year, which is a great turning point for Covisint, a very important turning point.
Have you discussed an IPO since becoming CEO?
A number of very positive things must happen. And then the market's got to be right.
So I prefer not to talk about it because we just don't want any distractions right now.
The criteria to do something like that have dramatically changed. You've got to have a lot of good parameters, good metrics going your
way to even talk about it. We cannot even think about it for another 12 months.