As the last, final, not-going-there-again extended deadline for Cisco's $3.4 billion cash offer expired last night, Cisco sent out a notice that it held 89% of Tandberg's shares and would waive the 90% holding requirement. As I understand it, Tandberg would then remain a separate company under Norwegian law until Cisco could actually scrape together those last few shares and trigger an automatic sale of the remaining unsold shares. It's a hassle, and it makes Cisco look part desperate and part silly, but that didn't stop management from taking that step.
And then the next morning, Cisco reported that after accounting for its 2% of Tandberg's shares, which it bought on the open market in November, it actually controlled 91% of Tandberg. No sweat, we got this in the bag, forget about that waiver. Oh, and the U.S. Department of Justice is moving ahead with the regulatory process -- fully expected stuff that shouldn't scare anybody, but still a reminder that the deal is by no means signed, sealed, and delivered yet.
Given that Cisco and Tandberg together hold a serious majority of the high-quality teleconferencing market known as Telepresence, I wouldn't bet my house on the outcome until Susan Boyle sings the national anthem of Norway. Though Hewlett-Packard
On the other hand, Telepresence may be a narrow enough market to let the deal slip by unnoticed. We've seen that happen before, after all.
Cisco says that every high-def TV in America could become a Telepresence installation within two years as the technology moves into the consumer segment. Does that make Tandberg worth the trouble? Discuss in the comments below, dear Fools.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. He does not own a lusekofte, but he likes lutefisk for Christmas dinner. Google and Polycom are Motley Fool Rule Breakers selections. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.