Last week, the Canadian service provider Mitel made another move for yet more business VoIP scale and took its bid for rival ShoreTel public. Today, ShoreTel’s board followed up its initial private rejection with a more public one.
Mitel had offered $8.10 per share in cash for ShoreTel, which would have been about $540M and represented a premium of over 20% above where ShoreTel’s stock was trading. ShoreTel’s board didn’t mince words, calling the proposal ‘financially inadequate’, and ‘an opportunistic attempt to acquire ShoreTel’s assets’ prior to is big new product launch next year. In other words, way too low try again.
Mitel bought Aastra last year in one of the bigger moves we have seen in cloud communications. A purchase of ShoreTel would give them much more US muscle to go with their Canadian and European operations. The business VoIP segment has been gaining momentum steadily in recent years, finally turning the hype of the prior decade into bottom line dollars.
It should be interesting to watch how Mitel proceeds from here. Do they want it enough to ratchet up the tension further, or even to raise their bid to something ShoreTel would be happier with? Or will they just find another target for their US expansion plans?
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