Neustar is to split into two companies and its domain name business is set for a rebranding.
The company said yesterday that it is breaking into an Order Management & Numbering Services company which will be called Neustar, and an Information Services company, which contains the domain business and will get a new name.
“The proposed spin-off will enable Neustar shareholders to own and value each business separately, allowing each company to attract the investor base most appropriate for its distinct investment profile,” said Neustar chair James Cullen.
That’s another way of saying the company is dumping all of its serious risk into the company that will remain Neustar.
Neustar currently holds the Local Number Portability Administration contract with the US government, under which it manages the central database of phone numbers.
It’s worth $496 million a year, but the US Federal Communications Commission has decided to switch to Ericsson unit Telcordia Technologies, which offered a better deal.
While Neustar is fighting the decision in court, its prospects don’t look great.
Separating the domain business from the numbering contract should insulate it from that risk.
The yet-to-be-named spin-off containing the domain business is worth $470 million a year, but most of that is unrelated to domain names. It will also offer Neustar’s marketing and security services.
It will be headed by current Neustar CEO Lisa Hook. CFO Paul Lalljie will bravely take the helm of the (probably) sinking Neustar ship.
The split is expected to take a year to implement.