Cisco Extends Tandberg Deadline, Waits for More Shares

Cisco Systems is extending the deadline for shareholders of Tandberg to accept its $3 billion offer for the Norwegian video conferencing company. The deadline is now Nov. 18. So far, Cisco has only received acceptance from investors who hold 9.37 percent of Tandberg stock. Cisco officials are looking for a 90 percent acceptance, or they will consider withdrawing the offer.

Cisco Systems officials will wait another week before deciding what to do with their $3 billion bid to buy video conferencing company Tandberg.

Cisco, which had set an initial deadline of Nov. 9 for shareholders to accept the deal, has pushed that deadline to Nov. 18. Cisco is looking to get 90 percent of Tandberg shares before moving forward with the deal.

In a brief statement Nov. 10, Cisco said it had received acceptances from investors representing 9.37 percent of Tandberg shares.

In the statement, Cisco officials said they will decide soon after the Nov. 18 deadline passes whether they had gotten the 90 percent of shares they are looking for. If not, they will decide whether to withdraw the offer.

Cisco announced the $3 billion offer Oct. 1, and the Tandberg board of directors is supporting it. The deal would give Cisco a greater share of the video conferencing market, which company officials say is a key part of a $34 billion opportunity in the overall collaboration market.

However, over the past few weeks, a number of organizations representing almost 30 percent of Tandberg shares have said they will not accept the Cisco bid, which they say is too low. They would rather see Tandberg stay independent, or for Cisco or another company to increase the offer.

In an open letter to Cisco Nov. 6, Panta Capital and Scott & Associates chided Cisco for asking too low a price for Tandberg, for ignoring the stock price increases for both Tandberg and rival Polycom in the months leading up to Cisco's Oct. 1 bid, and for not taking into account Tandberg's operational successes.

Cisco has called its offer fair, and during a meeting with analysts and reporters following his company's quarterly financial report Nov. 4, Cisco CEO John Chambers said he was confident the deal would get done, but also said he was confident Cisco would do well in the market even without Tandberg.

Analysts have said if Tandberg shareholders reject the $3 billion bid then Cisco will have little choice but to raise the offer.