Broadband Briefs for 11/10/09
• Cisco way short of stockholder approval for Tandberg deal
By Mike Robuck
Cisco Systems said today that Tandberg stockholders have tendered roughly 9.4 percent of the Norwegian video conferencing company’s shares.
Last month, Cisco announced it was buying Tandberg for $3 billion, but it needs 90 percent of the company’s stock to complete the deal. While Tandberg’s board has put its stamp of approval on the deal, shareholders have said the offer is too low.
Cisco’s offer was slated to expire yesterday, but the networking giant extended the deadline to Nov. 18 with the same terms and conditions. Cisco said it would decide on the new deadline day whether to withdraw its offer.
• Cisco sells $5B worth of debt
By The Associated Press
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Cisco, the world's largest maker of computer networking equipment, said Monday it will sell three series of senior unsecured notes worth a total of $5 billion. The offering is expected to close on Nov. 17.
Of these notes, $500 million will mature in November 2014 and will bear interest at an annual rate of 2.9 percent, $2.5 billion will mature in January 2020 and will bear interest at an annual rate of 4.45 percent, and $2 billion will mature in January 2040 and will bear interest at an annual rate of 5.5 percent. Cisco intends to use the net proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes.
The company is coming out of the recession with the largest cash balance of any technology company, at $35 billion at the end of July. But it is also spending some of that cash buying up other firms. Betting on the growing popularity of data-hungry phones like the iPhone, Cisco last month agreed to pay $2.9 billion for Starent Networks, a maker of equipment for wireless carriers. It also said it would pay $3 billion for Tandberg, a leading maker of videoconferencing equipment.
Cisco shares rose 17 cents to close earlier at $23.99, not far off the stock's 52-week high of $24.83.
• Web giants sponsor Wi-Fi as marketing lure
By The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) – Travelers will have more options for connecting to the Internet this holiday season, thanks to a race by Web companies to sponsor free Wi-Fi access.
Google Inc. announced Tuesday that it would provide free Wi-Fi access in 47 airports, including Boston, Houston and Seattle, through Jan. 15. Google is also providing free Wi-Fi on Virgin America flights for the same period. EBay Inc. is doing it on Delta flights over Thanksgiving.
Meanwhile, Microsoft Corp. is giving away free Wi-Fi at some hotels and airports, and Yahoo Inc. is giving away Wi-Fi access in New York's Times Square.