Gores Private Equity bid for Polycom

Updated: January 07, 2011

The Gores Group has recently approached Polycom regarding a possible merger of Polycom with Siemens. Polycom, which with Tandberg owns about three-quarters of the room videoconferencing market, would be a valuable acquisition for Gores, which owns 51% of Siemens Enterprise Communications. The merger would offer Siemens access to major accounts that use Polycom for video and phones. Polycom is also an attractive acquisition because it has a history of working well with all the major vendors.

However, according to Eric Knapf, writing for No Jitter weblog, "that's a double-edged sword...customers will clearly be nervous about relationships if both Tandberg and Polycom are owned by two of the competing core vendors."

Siemens, although a powerful communications vendor in its own right, has so far ranked well behind other North American enterprises like Avaya and Cisco, and Gores seems determined to develop Siemens through acquisitions. It is widely accepted that Gores has been pursuing a merger with Polycom ever since Cisco announced a merger with Tandberg. Gores approached Polycom last October about a possible merger, but was turned down. Krapf suggests that Gores's latest bid was motivated by another, unnamed, private equity firm's bid for Polycom.

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