Cisco: Getting Closer to Tandberg

Includes: CSCO, TADBF
by: The Deal Economy

In announcing Tuesday that it would extend its offer for video conferencing company Tandberg ASA (OTC:TADBF), Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) until 5:30 p.m. Central European Time Thursday evening, the networking giant didn't divulge how much progress it has made in gathering support for its $3.4 billion buyout offer.

While Cisco strategy chief Ned Hooper told The Deal recently that the latest bid, which was sweetened on Nov. 16 from $3 billion, is "absolutely" its last offer, odds are that the deal will succeed. When Cisco announced the increase in consideration, it reported that it had gathered the support of 40% of Tandberg's shares. That's a lot better than the 9.37% it had collected when it first extended the offer deadline earlier last month, and the momentum is likely to have continued in Cisco's favor during the past couple weeks.

While a group of Tandberg shareholders holding 24% of the stock had balked at the original price tag, the increased offer is likely to have satisfied their concerns.

As Hooper told us when Cisco announced the deal on Oct. 1: "We've done 134 acquisitions, and we've closed every single one. We expect to close this one."

Cisco said that soon after the new expiration of the offer, it will announce whether it has attained the required backing of 90% of Tandberg's shares. - Olaf de Senerpont Domis