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Cisco Ties Up TANDBERG Acquisition

Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) has bought all outstanding shares of TANDBERG to complete the takeover of the videoconferencing company.

Cisco first launched its TANDBERG buyout bid last October and had to maneuver through weeks of shareholder rebuffs. But the world’s largest network equipment maker got its way once everyone agreed on the $3.3 billion acquisition price tag. Cisco wants TANDBERG for its telepresence, or face-to-face meetings over high-definition video, expertise.

Fredrik Halvorsen now leads Cisco’s new TelePresence Technology Group.

The TANDBERG deal gives Cisco a stronger footing in the video conferencing market. Indeed, Cisco used the volcanic eruption in Iceland as proof that companies need such technology so they can communicate no matter the circumstances.

Cisco expects the TANDBERG/telepresence division to produce at least $1 billion per year in revenue. However, it does expect the acquisition to detract from 2010 earnings, but to add to profits next year.

TANDBERG has headquarters in Oslo and New York; Cisco is based in San Jose, Calif. TANDBERG reported about $900 million in revenue in 2009 while Cisco boasted about $35 billion in the same time frame.

Shares of Cisco were trading 1.10 percent higher, reaching $27.37, at 1:49 p.m. Eastern.


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