Ericcson extends Tandberg bid to March 16 as Tandberg board hems and haws

Reuters reports that Swedish telecom equipment giant Ericsson (ERICb.ST: Quote, Profile, Research) on Tuesday extended its $1.4 billion bid for Norway’s Tandberg Television to March 16 but left the terms unchanged. When it launched the offer in February, Ericsson said it sought acceptance by shareholders with more than 90 percent of shares in Tandberg TV.

“If they had already been at 90 percent, this wouldn’t have been necessary. But most big shareholders have already sold to Ericsson, so this is probably just to make sure the bid goes according to plan,” Danske Bank analyst Hallgeir Hollup said.

“We still believe this acquisition will be carried out at 106 crowns per share.”

The extended offer period would run to 4.30 pm on Friday, March 16 (1530 GMT), the Swedish firm said on Tuesday.

Tandberg TV last week backed Ericsson’s 106 Norwegian crown per share offer and abandoned an earlier $1.2 billion cash-and-stock bid by U.S. Arris Group (ARRS.OL: Quote, Profile, Research).

Arris later decided it would not raise its offer.

“The terms and conditions set out in the offer document … remain in place during the extended offer period,” Ericsson said on Tuesday.

Shares in Ericsson were down 1.2 percent at 1620 GMT, roughly in line with the wider market . Tandberg TV shares were unchanged at 105.50 Norwegian crowns.

With the Tandberg buy, Ericsson aims to strengthen its hand in the fast-growing Internet Protocol television (IPTV) market.

IPTV is seen as a future money-spinner for telecoms firms, combining TV with services such as video-on-demand and IP telephony through a broadband connection.

When it announced its bid on Feb. 26, Ericsson said it had an 11.7 percent stake in Tandberg TV and had pre-acceptances from an additional 13 percent of shareholders.

Tandberg said last week that Ericsson had pre-acceptances from holders of 15.7 percent of the stock

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