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Cisco Gains Control of Tandberg

Updated from 5:57 a.m. EST

SAN JOSE, Calif. ( TheStreet -- Cisco (CSCO - Get Report) said Friday it has gained control of more than 90% of Tandberg shares, after initially announcing late Thursday it had fallen short of its goal of obtaining 90% of acceptances.

Cisco said early Friday it had 89.1% acceptance for its $3.41 offer to buy Tandberg, in addition to the 2% of Tandberg shares it purchased in November.

"The shares tendered, combined with shares owned, currently represent approximately 102 million shares, or approximately 91.1% of the shares and voting rights in Tandberg," Cisco said in a statement Friday.

In its contentious acquisition of Norwegian videoconferencing specialist Tandberg, Cisco, the networking giant, struggled to persuade the required number of Tandberg shareholders to OK the deal.

Cisco, which competes with Juniper (HPQ - Get Report), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ - Get Report) and Alcatel-Lucent (ALU), said it continues to expect the Tandberg deal to close during the first half of calendar 2010.

The Silicon Valley firm finally bowed to pressure from Tandberg shareholders last month, raising its bid to $3.41 billion from $3 billion, and extending the acceptance period from Nov. 18 until Dec. 1. This was subsequently lengthened to Dec. 3.

Cisco CEO John Chambers has been making a song and dance about video for years, although his company's efforts were largely centered on the high-end of the market. Tandberg extends this reach downstream. The Oslo-based firm enjoyed sales of $808 million last year, and is the 800-pound gorilla in the video conferencing market.
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