John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Cisco Closer to Closing Tandberg Deal

acquisitions1Looks like Cisco’s proposed acquisition of Tandberg will move ahead as planned, though perhaps not as smoothly as the networking giant had hoped. In a filing with the Oslo stock exchange today, Tandberg said 91.1 percent of its shares and voting rights have been tendered to Cisco (CSCO)–enough to proceed with the deal. But to move forward, Cisco may have to negotiate a regulatory hurdle or two. The U.S. Department of Justice has requested information about the deal, suggesting it has concerns about its potential competitive effects.

Last month, Cisco upped its $3 billion offer for Tandberg to $3.4 billion in hopes of winning the support of investors holding at least 90 percent of the company’s shares, among them a large chunk that argued the bid was too low.

And that seems to have done the trick. By yesterday afternoon, the Dec. 3 deadline Cisco had set for the deal, the company had gained control of 89 percent of Tandberg’s shares. And now, a few hours later, Cisco has managed to win more than the 90 percent it desired.

So the deal will move forward, although as I said, the company does have a DOJ request for information to address first. “Cisco intends to respond expeditiously to this request and continue to work co-operatively with the DOJ in connection with its review,” the company said in a statement. “Cisco continues to expect the transaction will close during the first half of calendar year 2010.”

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald