Updated with a statement from Cisco: Shareholders owning more than 24 percent of Tandberg’s stock have released a statement saying they are voting against Cisco’s proposed $3 billion buyout of the video conferencing equipment maker. Cisco announced the offer, part of its attempt to move into the middle market for video conferencing equipment to compliment its high-end Telepresence offering, two weeks ago. According to Reuters, brokerage SEB Enskilda said in a statement on Thursday:
”On behalf of 21 shareholders representing above 24 per cent of the outstanding shares in Tandberg, SEB Enskilda has…communicated to Cisco that these shareholders do not intend to tender their shares at the current offer terms.”
Despite the approval of the boards of both companies, these shareholders say they believe Tandberg is worth more than the 153.5 kroner ($27.49) per share Cisco is offering to pay (the brokerage firm that issued the statement has a price target on the stock that’s 11 percent higher). Cisco must get approval from 90 percent of Tandberg’s shareholders, so with almost a quarter of them dissenting, it will either sweeten the pot or walk. Maybe Tandberg’s rival in the video conferencing space, Polycom, would be more amenable to a deal.
Update: A Cisco spokeswoman offered this statement via email, after noting that it is unable to directly comment as it is in the middle of the tender process:
“We have stated previously that we believe we are paying a fair price for a quality asset and our offer comes recommended by the Tandberg Board of Directors. As noted in Tandberg’s communications to the Oslo Exchange, Cisco’s offer represents a 38.3% premium to the closing share price on July 15 – which is one day prior to major media reports of a possible transaction.”