Tandberg shareholders want Cisco to sweeten bid

Cisco Systems, the world's largest maker of networking and communication equipment, may have to sweeten its bid for Tandberg ASA as nearly 30 per cent of shareholders have said they oppose the offer in its present form.

San Francisco-based Cisco had on 1 October proposed to acquire Norway's video-conferencing systems maker, Tandberg ASA for $3 billion in cash, to expand its video-conferencing products portfolio. (See: Cisco to acquire Norway's Tandberg for $3 billion)

Under the deal, Cisco had made a cash tender offer to purchase all the outstanding shares of Tandberg for 153.5 Norwegian Kroner per share for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $3.0 billion.

The offer was 1.0 per cent premium to Tandberg's closing stock price of 138.30 crowns on 30 September, and a 25.2 per cent premium to the 3-month volume weighted average closing price.

In a statement, Cisco said that it has received acceptances representing 7,919,338 shares in Tandberg. Following receipt of these acceptances, Cisco holds rights to acquire 10,493, 298 shares in Tandberg, representing 9.37 per cent of the shares and voting rights.

Yesterday Cisco said that it would extend its $3 billion offer to18 November and again today said that soon after expiration of the extended offer period, Cisco will announce whether the 90 per cent condition for the offer has been met. If not, Cisco will evaluate whether or not to withdraw the offer.