Unified Communications Blockbuster: Plantronics To Acquire Polycom For $2 Billion


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Communications equipment giant Plantronics on Wednesday announced a deal to buy unified communications leader Polycom in a cash and stock transaction valued at $2 billion, giving the company more ammunition to conquer the crowded UC and collaboration market.

The two companies said that the soon-to-be combined company will become a "communications and collaboration gold standard" and offer a stronger business proposition for channel partners by removing the costs of managing complexity.

"Together, we can offer greater integration and align on a common, architectural selling motion for communications and collaborations products," according to a spokesperson for Plantronics. "This is an exciting opportunity that allows for us to address larger, faster growing markets and use synergies of Plantronics and Polycom together to fuel innovation."

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Polycom Hires Juniper Veteran As North America Channel Chief]

The deal has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is subject to regulatory approvals. After closing, Polycom shareholders will own approximately 16 percent of the combined company. The two companies expect the transaction to close by the end of the third quarter of 2018.

Once combined, the new UC powerhouse will offer one of the broadest -- and complementary -- portfolios of communications and collaboration endpoints in the crowded UCC market, which research firm Frost and Sullivan currently values as a $39.9 billion industry. The tie-up will help Plantronics and Polycom better compete with its competitors in the market, Cisco and Microsoft.

Privately-held Polycom, which specializes in personal collaboration, group collaboration, and managed and professional services, will help expand Plantronics' existing services offerings, bringing more analytics and management features into the fold for a better user experience, the two companies said.

"With the addition of Polycom's solutions across video, audio and collaboration, we will be able to deliver a comprehensive portfolio of communications and collaboration touch points and services to our customers and channel partners," said Joe Burton, Plantronics' president and CEO, in a statement. "This will put Plantronics in an ideal position to solve for today's enterprise collaboration requirements while capitalizing on market opportunities."

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