Mitel-Aastra $374M Merger Nearing Completion

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**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in Q4 2013.**

The Mitel-Aastra merger is set to close on Friday.

The business IP phone and UC companies on Monday provided a market update, noting that the $374 million deal is moving along. As long as remaining closing conditions are met, Mitel and Aastra "expect to close the transaction on or about Jan. 31," they said in a press release.

Mitel and Aastra shareholders have approved the plan that Mitel buy all of Aastra's outstanding common shares for $6.52 in cash plus 3.6 Mitel common shares per each Aastra common share.

Rich McBee will remain CEO of the combined Mitel Networks, and recently said he predicts no channel conflict to arise from the combination of the two rivals. That's because the top 20 Aastra and Mitel channel partners do not overlap, he said – to wit, Aastra's market strength lies in Europe.

"The channel differences are pretty stark," McBee told No Jitter in November, adding that the Mitel and Aastra channels are "very compatible."

With little, if any, concern over channel conflict on its radar, Mitel is focused on growth. While both Mitel and Aastra are based in Canada, Aastra holds more market share in Europe, particularly the western portion. Both companies specialize in premises and cloud unified communications, and Aastra makes one of the three Microsoft Lync-certified phone sets. Observers say Mitel's challenge will be to increase revenue, and use the PrairieFrye and Aastra transactions to strengthen its Lync strategy.

The combined company will keep its headquarters in Ottawa and operate under the Mitel name. Aastra's co-CEO, Francis Shen, will become chief strategy officer and co-CEO Tony Shen will serve as COO. Aastra shareholders will own about 43 percent of the merged entity.

Mitel said it's creating a billion-dollar company with No. 1 market share in Western Europe and a $100 million cloud business.

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