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Is Cisco backing out of Tandberg deal?

Bloomberg is reporting that Cisco might walk away from its agreement to buy Tandberg. As we mentioned two weeks ago, A large group of shareholders have balked at the $3 billion offer Cisco and Tandberg’s executives and boards of directors agreed upon. Cisco’s Tandberg deal is contingent on it being able to acquire 90% of the company’s stock. Twenty-one shareholders who own 24% of the company say Cisco’s offer is too low.

Bloomberg is citing a “person familiar with the transaction” as the anonymous source for its report.  Financial analyst Martin Hoff at Arctic Securities ASA told Bloomberg that Cisco probably won’t just walk away. Instead, the anonymous claim that Cisco is contemplating a pullout from the deal is probably just a scare tactic. “It’s probably smart of them to send some signals to scare the shareholders into accepting the offer,” he told Bloomberg.

If Cisco does close the Tandberg deal, it will expand its enterprise video strategy from its high-end telepresence products to a full suite of desktop and room-based video systems, multipoint control units and video management software. Combined with Cisco’s existing lines of telephony products and Cisco will be competing directly with Tandberg’s chief rival Polycom on all fronts. If that happens, enterprises can expect other major communications vendors like Avaya and Microsoft to become heavily aligned with Polycom.

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