Tandberg shareholders call on Cisco to raise bid


Tandberg shareholders call on Cisco to raise bid

Simon Quicke

The war of words between Cisco's senior management and a group of Tandberg shareholders arguing over the value of the US vendor's proposed $3bn take-over of the Norwegian firm has entered a fresh phase.

Earlier this week, Cisco's chief strategy office Ned Hooper hit back at a group of shareholders, thought to control about 24%, which were calling for an increased offer for the video conferencing specialist.

"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," he said on Tuesday.

But as previously reported in MicroScope, a select group of Tandberg shareholders have been holding out against the offer which needs to be concluded next Monday.

But in an open letter penned by mergers and acquisitions advisors Panta Capital which is representing shareholders addressed to Hooper and Cisco CEO John Chambers a counter argument was set out calling for an increased offer.

"We also believe that in this specific case your offer does not reflect the true value of Tandberg's business prospects nor does your offer reflect the premium to market value that you claim it does," stated the letter.

The letter goes on to argue that the date from which Cisco dates its valuation and the premium it argues it is paying above that value is misleading.

"Given your conviction that videoconferencing will become the core of the $34bn collaboration market, we believe the NOK153.5 per share offer undervalues the significant growth profile of Tandberg, the market leader of the video conferencing infrastructure market,"the letter states.

"We believe that a higher, more appropriate price for the acquisition of Tandberg, taking into account its growth profile and the substantial scope for sales and cost synergies, is not in conflict with Cisco's respect of the principles of prudence and financial fairness," it concluded.

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