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Runaway bride: Cisco waiting at the altar for Tandberg

Dear Tandberg shareholders: Will you or won’t you make Cisco the happiest and most powerful videoconferencing vendor in the world?

This acquisition of Tandberg sure has drama, doesn’t it? Here it is, early evening on Dec. 3 and there’s still no word as to whether Cisco has acquired the requisite number of shares it set for itself to close the deal. Cisco’s agreement to buy Tandberg includes the provision that the deal can only happen if Cisco can get hold of 90% of Tandberg’s stock. As of yesterday, Cisco had only managed to collect commitments from shareholders to take over 84% of the stock. If Cisco can’t get to 90%, the deal won’t happen and Cisco will walk away. Cisco has extended the deadline for reaching the 90% threshold a coulpe of times, but it said yesterday that tdoay was the final extension. The clock was to run out at 5:30 PM CET (Central European Time), which passed us by hours ago.

Yet we have no news. Cisco and Tandberg have been silent on whether they were able to get this done. We haven’t heard much at all since Cisco upped its offer from $3 billion to $3.41 billion to entice some holdout shareholders who felt the original offer undervalued Tandberg.

Here we are, with not a peep from Cisco and Tandberg. Are executives working the phones, trying to figure out whether this deal? Or have they decided to let the silence speak for itself and the deal is dead. We shall see.

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