Cisco finally closes $3.3 billion Tandberg bid

Networking giant made its initial offer for the video-conferencing company in October but got the thumb's down. Six months later, Cisco seals the deal.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Cisco Systems has finally managed to acquire video-conferencing vendor Tandberg.

The networking giant announced Monday that it has completed a so-called voluntary offer for Tandberg, with 91.1 percent control of the Oslo, Norway-based company. Cisco said it will now launch a compulsory acquisition to pick up the rest of the outstanding shares. Following that move, Cisco will have paid $3.3 billion (19 billion Norwegian kroner) to own the company it has sought since its initial bid in October.

Former Tandberg CEO Fredrik Halvorsen will join Cisco as the senior vice president and head of Cisco's new TelePresence Technology Group.

"We strongly believe that telepresence--the next generation of videoconferencing--along with Cisco's entire rich collaboration portfolio, powers this new way of working where everyone, everywhere, can be more productive through the pervasive use of video and face-to-face collaboration," Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of Cisco's Emerging Technologies Business Group, said in a statement.

With businesses turning to telepresence to cut travel-related costs, Cisco has been trying to gain greater entry into this market. Following its October offer of $3 billion, Cisco has feverishly been pursuing the takeover of Tandberg. After investors gave a thumb's down to that initial bid, the company upped its offer in November.

By December, Cisco was close to picking up the shares it needed to acquire Tandberg but remained 1 percent short of the 90 percent required under Norwegian law to close the deal.

As Cisco was on the hunt for more shares, the U.S. Justice Department and the European Union were eyeing the acquisition to make sure it met regulatory requirements. Both agencies approved the deal in late March.

Cisco said it expects the acquisition to take away from earnings for fiscal 2010 but add to its profit in 2011.