by Sejuti Das

Mapping the major M&As of the video conferencing industry

Apr 26, 2016
BusinessEnterprise ApplicationsInternet

Mergers and acquisitions have a mixed track record of success in the video conferencing space. Some have catapulted the acquirer to unquestionable riches, some have been failures and a few have shaken the industry to the core.

Tandberg acquired Codian for $270 mn: This acquisition provided immediate solutions and resources for seizing growth opportunities for the company, which in turn enhanced their technology leadership. The acquisition was subject to conventional closing conditions.

Logitech acquired LifeSize Communications: Logitech acquired LifeSize for $405 mn in the year 2009 just when the video conferencing and telepresence space were on their way up. But with revenues down, Logitech was looking to unload its video conferencing division, which included LifeSize and Mirial. And early this year, Lifesize split from Logitech in order to reinvents itself for the SaaS market.

Cisco bought Tandberg for $3 bn: With businesses turning to telepresence to cut travel-related costs, Cisco was trying to gain greater entry into the video conferencing space. Cisco was feverishly pursuing the takeover of Tandberg. After investors gave a thumbs down to that initial bid, the company upped its offer in November 2010.

Microsoft took over of Skype for $8.56 bn: The purchase was Microsoft’s biggest ever, surpassing even the $6 bn acquisition of advertising firm aQuantive in 2011. That alone makes it surprising—the company’s track record with large purchases is decidedly mixed.

ClearOne acquired VCON video conferencing: Much of this acquisition can be attributed to heavy insider and institutional buying.  Both of these are very bullish indicators. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter stood at 114.7 mn shares, which represented about 34.43 percent of the company’s float of 333.14 mn shares.

Avaya acquired Radvision video conferencing provider: For Avaya, the move made sense on many fronts. The company appeared ready to IPO and having video as part of its growth story seemed more appealing than VoIP and CEBP, which are harder to understand. Video was hot and still is, and this momentum appears to be sustainable.

Mitel bought Polycom to strengthen video conferencing biz: Mitel has been aggressively buying up smaller telecom services firms over the past few years. Mitel has acquired U.S.-based Mavenir Systems Inc for $560 million last April and also bought Canadian telecom services company Aastra Technologies in 2013 for about $400 million.