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New acquisition alters AV distributor landscape

Cisco’s latest attempt to convince the remaining Tandberg shareholders revolves around an increased cash offer to purchase all outstanding Tandberg shares for 170 Norwegian kroner per share for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $3.4 billion. Cisco would also increase the interest payable on the offer price to a rate of 3% from 1.75%.

While the backing of the Tandberg board was confirmed on 1 October, the process of securing full shareholder support has been more protracted. At present, more than 40% of outstanding shares have been committed to the transaction, and Cisco has set a new, extended deadline of 17.30pm on 1 December 2009, to secure the rest.

Evidently, this is a decisive phase in the attempted acquisition. In a 16 November press statement announcing the revised offer, Cisco revealed that if it “does not achieve the desired level of acceptances, the company will withdraw the offer and evaluate alternative ways to expand our activities in the video communications market.”

Invited to comment on the latest development, Tandberg issued two statements to II that underline the board’s desire to see the acquisition go through.

“We believe this is an outstanding offer for our shareholders,” said Tandberg chairman Jan Chr. Opsahl. “The Tandberg board of directors unanimously recommends this offer to shareholders.”

CEO Frederik Halvorsen added: “This revised offer only further demonstrates Cisco’s belief in our technology and our people. We continue to believe that Cisco and TANDBERG share a vision of changing the way people communicate and collaborate, and that the combination of world-class technologies, Cisco’s global scale and exceptional people from both organisations will enable us to accelerate innovation and market adoption.”

In other, product-oriented news, Tandberg recently unveiled its expanded Profile Series (pictured) to include the entry-level Profile 42in, Profile 65in and Profile 65in Dual video collaboration systems.

Image: Tandberg