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Cisco adds half a billion to offer for video firm

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Cisco has increased its offer for Tandberg - despite protesting that its original offer was more than fair.

The networking behemoth seemed shocked when its offer of $3bn for the Norwegian video conferencing firm was not accepted. This valued each share at 153.5 Norwegian Kroner - a 25 per cent premium on the three month average share price.

Today Cisco is offering $3.4bn for Tandberg, or 170 Kroner per share. Two of Tandberg's largest shareholders Folketrygdfondet and OppenheimerFunds have already said they will approve the deal. Combined with shareholders who voted in favour of the first offer, Cisco reckons this gives them over 40 per cent of Tandberg shares.

Tandberg's board of directors has already recommended the deal go ahead. Remaining shareholders have until 1 December to decide to accept or reject the bid.

But Tandberg shareholders were not impressed - less than ten per cent had voted in favour by last week, forcing Cisco to extend the deadline to 18 November.

Meanwhile Cisco was making noises vaguely threatening to cancel the transaction altogether. Its statement today said the new offer "represents Cisco's final price for this transaction".

Cisco is moving quickly from enterprise networking into dozens of other business areas including collaboration products, consumer electronics and video conferencing. ®

Cisco's statement is here. ®

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