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Polycom Gets Revised Offer From Unnamed Bidder

Officials with Polycom say the new offer puts the price tag at $1.66 billion, still less than the $196 billion being offered by Mitel.

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Polycom has received a revised offer from an unnamed private equity firm looking to buy the video conferencing technology vendor.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) June 8, Polycom officials said the revised bid from the entity previously referred to as "Sponsor 1" puts the price for the company at about $1.66 billion, still short of the $1.96 billion being offered by unified communications company Mitel.

Polycom officials said Sponsor 1, which wants to take the company private, is offering $12.25 per share, and that the revised offer included a letter from a potential lender saying that under the right circumstances, the debt financing for the bidder could be arranged. The previous offer from the bidder put the per-share price at $11.

Polycom officials are continuing negotiations with Sponsor 1, and the board of directors will consider the best course forward. However, board members have not changed their recommendation supporting Mitel's bid for Polycom, officials said in the SEC filing.

Mitel officials in April announced they had entered into an agreement to buy Polycom with the goal of creating a communications and collaboration vendor large enough to compete with market leaders like Cisco Systems and Microsoft. The deal is part of a larger pattern within a rapidly changing communications market that has seen its share of acquisitions—such as Nokia buying Alcatel-Lucent—and vendors building out their product portfolios to include more cloud- and software-based offerings.

The notion of a Mitel-Polycom deal first came up in October 2015 at the urging of activist investor Elliott Management, which had increased its investment in both companies and argued that a merger between the two would be beneficial to shareholders and customers alike. A merged Mitel and Polycom would have $2.4 billion in revenue and about 7,700 employees operating in 47 of the world's 50 largest economies. The installed customer base would include more than 82 percent of the Fortune 500 companies.

The counteroffer by Sponsor 1 first came to light last month in another SEC filing. In a statement at the time, Mitel officials said their offer was superior to that of the new bidder.