Cisco hits back at Tandberg doubters


Cisco hits back at Tandberg doubters

Alex Scroxton

Cisco chief strategy officer Ned Hooper has responded to a group of Tandberg shareholders who are holding out for a better offer from the vendor.

Last Friday the threat that Cisco might be unable to complete its multi-billion dollar purchase of Tandberg reared its head again when the Oslo stock exchange halted trading in Tandberg shares after sources told Bloomberg that Cisco would walk away if it couldn't secure more than 90%backing from Tandberg shareholders.

As previously reported in MicroScope, a group of Tandberg investors controlling around 24% of its shares refusing to play ball.

Hooper said: "Cisco's offer represents a 38.3% premium to the closing share price on July 15, one day prior to reports of a possible transaction. The price also represents a 102% 12 month return for Tandberg shareholders, far surpassing global market returns."

Hooper invoked Cisco's "strong record" in creating decent returns for shareholders in firms it has acquired in the past, adding that the vendor would "always act with fiscal prudence".

Trade in Tandberg stocks resumed in the afternoon after the stock exchange found no evidence of irregularities.

"Oslo Børs has reviewed whether some participants have access to different information in relation to evaluating the value of the company's shares. Oslo Børs has not found sufficient reasons to uphold the matching halt," the stock exchange said in a statement.

Cisco has until next Monday to lock up the votes it needs for the acquisition.

Meanwhile, John Chambers dipped into his voluminous pockets again on Tuesday to acquire the assets of China-based set-top box builder DVN.

The $44.5m (£27.2m) deal is but a minnow compared to Cisco's recent acquisitions, and will see Hong-Kong-listed DVN slotted into Cisco's Service Provider Video Technology Group. Cisco said the deal was mainly designed to boost its addressable consumer market in China and other emerging territories.

Cisco has form in this area, having bought set-top box and broadband kit provider Scientific Atlanta in 2005 for close to $7bn at the time.

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