Troubled online music retailer Napster (NSDQ: NAPS) has hired UBS (again) to explore strategic alternatives, including a possible sale. The news was made in a letter to shareholders, urging them not to vote for three outside activists, looking to get representation on the board. In the letter, the company notes that the candidates’ previous work experience — musician, nursing home executive, ice cream franchisee, middle management banking executive — is “irrelevant to a company like Napster.” It also notes that contrary to suggestions, it is open to a sale if that turns out to be the best option. Release.
If this all sounds familiar, it is. The company said exactly two years ago that it had retained UBS to explore strategic alternatives. Unfortunately for shareholders, who have seen the stock decline precipitously, that didn’t go anywhere. The difference this time: The stock has gotten so low — trading close to cash, even — that it would be a cheap pickup for many companies. In the meantime, Napster is still doing what it can to breathe some life into its business. It recently launched an ‘everything must go’ sale, temporarily slashing prices on its core service by nearly 50 percent.