Cisco Systems Inc. has raised its bid for Norwegian video conferencing vendor Tandberg SA to 19 billion Norwegian Kroner (US$3.4 billion), up from $3.0 billion, but says it will raise its price no further.

The new offer will expire on Dec. 1, and is the final offer San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco will make, the company said.

The holders of an additional 30 per cent of Tandberg’s shares have accepted the new offer, taking the number of shares committed to the deal to over 40 pe rcent. However, the companies need the support of holders of 90 per cent of the shares for the deal to go through.
The acquisition of Tandberg by Cisco was approved by the directors of both companies but still requires shareholder approval.

Cisco’s original offer for Tandberg, made on Oct. 1, was immediately said to be to low by some commentators, and on Oct. 15 a Swedish stockbroker said stockholders representing 24 per cent of the shares in Tandberg would not accept the $3.0 billion offer.

The increased offer shows how important Cisco thinks Tandberg and the video conferencing market is, according to Geir Olsen, President of Europe, Middle East and Africa at Tandberg.
Both Cisco and Tandberg make high-end Telepresence hardware, which includes life-sized monitors, cameras and furniture. But unlike Cisco, Tandberg also makes mid-range and desktop video conferencing products.

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