Unified communication

Mitel Faces Competition in $1.96B Polycom Bid

Mitel's $1.96 billion bid for Polycom is facing competition from a private equity company called Siris Capital Group, according to a report from Bloomberg, which cites sources familiar with the matter.

The Siris move could force Mitel Networks Corp. to table a more shareholder-friendly offer, using debt facilities to increase the amount of cash it pays to Polycom Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) shareholders, according to Paul Treiber, an RBC Capital Markets analyst quoted in the Bloomberg report.

While increasing Mitel's borrowings, this could also drive up earnings per share at a combined company, according to Treiber.

Should the deal collapse, Mitel is due to receive $60 million in breakup fees.

Mitel's share price closed up 7.2% on the Nasdaq yesterday after the news broke. But it has fallen by about 15% since April 14 -- the day before Mitel announced its deal with Polycom -- because first-quarter earnings missed analyst expectations.

The share price movements have lowered the value of Mitel's original offer, which comprised both cash and stock.

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Mitel sells cloud-based unified communications systems to enterprises and service providers, while Polycom supplies IP and videoconferencing equipment to customers including Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT).

Mitel has pitched its potential takeover of Polycom as a way of creating a global leader in next-generation voice and video communications. (See Mitel to Buy Polycom for $1.96B and Mitel Courts Microsoft in PolyCom Bid.)

"The visions of the companies are almost identical," Mitel CEO Rich McBee told Light Reading during a recent conversation. "Seamless communications and collaboration for us. For them [Polycom], it's about making collaboration simple." (See What's Driving Mitel's $2B Polycom Acquisition?)

— Iain Morris, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, News Editor, Light Reading

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