Cisco raises bid for Tandberg to $3.4B

Mon, 11/16/2009 - 7:20am
The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) – Cisco Systems Inc. said Monday it raised its bid for Norway's Tandberg ASA after only a fraction of Tandberg shareholders agreed to Cisco's initial offer.

Cisco increased its bid to 170 kroner ($30.46) per share from its earlier offer of 153.5 kroner ($27.64) per share, valuing Tandberg, the world's largest provider of videoconferencing equipment for business users, at 19 billion kroner ($3.4 billion). That's up from a previous offer of $3 billion.

The company also extended the deadline for shareholders to accept to Dec. 1 from Nov. 18.

The Norwegian company's board green-lighted the original deal, but as the offer period approached its Wednesday deadline, shareholders had tendered less than 10 percent of Tandberg shares.

Cisco said 40 percent of Tandberg's shareholders backed the new offer, including its largest minority shareholders – Folketrygdfondet, Norway's domestic pension fund, and OppenheimerFunds.

The new bid "represents the ... final price for this transaction," Cisco said, adding that it will withdraw its bid altogether if the sweetened offer "does not achieve the desired level of acceptances."

Tandberg shares jumped 4 percent to 163.90 kroner ($29.50) on the Oslo stock exchange early Monday.

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