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Cisco thinks twice on Norwegian video borg

$3 billion walk away?

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Cisco may walk away from its $3 billion offer to buy Norwegian video conferencing specialist Tandberg amidst resistance from a block of shareholders.

A report from Bloomberg on Friday cites "a person familiar with the transaction" saying that Cisco may deep-six the corporate assimilation rather than upping its initial offer.

Swedish brokerage SEB Enskilda, which represents 24 per cent of shares in Tandberg, rejected the offer earlier this month in hopes Cisco may lay more kronor on the table. Terms of the deal require Cisco to get at least 90 per cent of shares on their side for approval.

The shareholders said they believe Tandberg will do better as an independent company — but are willing to reevaluate their outlook if Cisco would sweeten the pot.

Tanberg posted third-quarter operating income of $50m on sales of $234.7m this October.

Cisco wants to add Tandberg products to its existing video conference kit sold under the TelePresence brand. Boss John Chambers waxed at the deal's announcement that the two firms have similar cultures and a "shared vision" of the future of business communications.

Despite supposed resistance to heaping more money unto Tandberg, some analysts quoted in the Bloomberg piece are skeptical that its not simply a negotiating tactic on Cisco's part. They think the networking giant is too sweet on moving further into the video conferencing market to actually turn their nose up at a bigger payout. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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