Cisco Wins Control Of Tandberg

As of late Thursday, Cisco controlled 89.1 percent of Tandberg shares. According to a Friday statement from Cisco, it purchased a total of 2,238,600 shares of Tandberg on November 18 and 20, corresponding to 2 percent of all shares, and bringing Cisco's total control of Tandberg shares to 91.1 percent.

Based on the agreement, Cisco needed 90 percent of Tandberg's shares for the acquisition to go through.

Cisco first announced it intended to acquire Tandberg on Oct. 1 for $3.1 billion. The deal was stalled out of the gate as a group of Tandberg shareholders representing 24 percent of Tandberg's total stock accused Cisco of lowballing the video conferencing company.

Cisco Chief Strategy Officer Ned Hooper responded to those complaints at the time by saying Cisco's offer was one of "fairness and value," but Cisco later in November upped its offer for Tandberg by about $300 million, to $3.4 billion.

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The deadline for acceptance of the offer by Tandberg shareholders was extended three times, finally to Dec. 3. Cisco said in a statement it expects the Tandberg transaction to close sometime in the first half of 2010.

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has also filed a request for additional information under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. Cisco said it "intends to respond expeditiously to this request and will work cooperatively with the DOJ in connection with its review."

A Tandberg spokesperson responded to a request for comment by saying that a statement from Tandberg was forthcoming.

One shareholder who originally rebuffed Cisco's offer told Reuters Thursday he's now convinced of Cisco's intentions.

"Cisco is one of the few companies internationally that can take the company further to another level," said Hogne Tyssoy, a portfolio manager at Holberg Funds, in an interview with Reuters.

According to Wainhouse Research and other analysts, Tandberg's share in the worldwide video conferencing market is 40 percent. Cisco's acquisition continues < a href="/networking/221800449">ongoing consolidation of that market, which this fall also saw Logitech move to buy LifeSize Communications. Tandberg's midmarket telepresence offerings are expected to add a key piece of Cisco's collaboration portfolio, which includes the high-end TelePresence products and WebEx desktop video conferencing.