Tandberg falls to growing Cisco video empire


Tandberg falls to growing Cisco video empire

Alex Scroxton

Norwegian video and collaboration specialist Tandberg has been bought by Cisco for an aggregate price of $3bn.

The Cisco juggernaut rolled into Oslo on Thursday, touting an 11% premium on Tandberg stock in an offer that the firm's board has unanimously recommended.

Collaboration-junkie John Chambers, also known as Cisco's CEO, said the collaboration market was worth $34bn and was growing rapidly "enabled by networked Web 2.0 technologies".

"[We] have remarkably similar cultures and a shared vision to change the way the world works through collaboration and video communications technologies," Chambers added.

Cisco committed itself to maintaining Tandberg's R&D machine, which is split between the UK and Norway, whilst integrating the vendor's solutions into its own collaboration product set.

It already markets its own video-conferencing solution, Cisco TelePresence, a room-sized set-up in enterprise and SMB flavours that Chambers has strongly hinted he wants to take into the consumer market.

Back in March, Cisco raided the consumer space and bagged Pure Digital, makers of an 'idiot-proof' USB-connected video camera called the Flip.

Chambers believes that 90% of Internet traffic will be video within the next four years, and means to put Cisco firmly at the centre of this trend.

The Tandberg acquisition is scheduled to close at some point during the first half of calendar 2010, subject to customary closing conditions, regulatory reviews, and so on.

After closing the unit will be run by current Tandberg CEO Fredrik Halvorsen as the TelePresence Technology Group. Halvorsen will report to Cisco senior vice president of emerging technologies, Marthin de Beer.

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