Cisco hikes its offer for Tandberg

City A.M. Reporter
CISCO Systems raised its bid for Tandberg by 10 per cent to 19bn Norwegian crowns (&pound;2.02bn), a move widely expected to win over shareholders of the video conferencing company.<br /><br />Cisco said yesterday its new bid of 170 crowns per share has the approval of holders of more than 40 per cent of Tandberg shares, including the top two investors, OppenheimerFunds, which had opposed the original offer, and Folketrygdfondet. That was a significant improvement from the less than 10 per cent that accepted Cisco&rsquo;s initial 153.50 crown bid,<br /><br />Analysts and investors expect the new bid, which the US network equipment maker said would be its last, to win more shareholder support. Tandberg&rsquo;s board, which had already supported the original price, called the sweetened offer &ldquo;outstanding&rdquo;.<br /><br />The raised bid confirmed widespread views that the deal was too important for Cisco to drop. Cisco chief executive John Chambers has touted online videoconferencing as a key growth area that is on the brink of more widespread adoption. <br /><br />High-quality, real-time videoconferencing can help companies cut travel costs, and Cisco says it can do more, such as helping banks launch services for remote locations.