Mitel Networks CEO Richard McBee

Mitel Networks CEO Richard McBee

Mitel Makes $540M Offer to Acquire ShoreTel

Mitel Networks (MITL) CEO Richard McBee this week announced his company has made an offer to acquire ShoreTel (SHOR) for $540 million.

Remember when a Mitel Networks (MITL) spokesperson earlier this month told Talkin' Cloud to "keep your eyes open"? Well, it didn't take long for the Ottawa-based cloud communications provider to make its next move.

Mitel, which is currently in the midst of a growth phase, this week announced it has set it sights on acquiring Sunnyvale, California-based private branch exchange (PBX) business phone systems provider ShoreTel.

Richard McBee, Mitel's CEO, said his company has submitted a proposal to acquire ShoreTel for $540 million, which represents a 24 percent premium to ShoreTel's closing stock price on Oct. 17 and a 30 percent premium to ShoreTel's enterprise value.

"The business communications market is rapidly consolidating and Mitel has clearly stated that we intend to be a consolidator in this market. We see a compelling opportunity to bring together two market innovators with strong and complementary market footprints, particularly in the U.S. where ShoreTel does more than 90 percent of its business, in a way that delivers significant value and opportunities to the shareholders, customers and employees of both companies," McBee said in a prepared statement.

McBee sent a letter to ShoreTel's Board of Directors on Oct. 2 and again on Oct. 20 that outlined the proposal.

ShoreTel, however, has reportedly rejected McBee's overtures thus far, but Mitel will keep its proposal open until Nov. 20.

"We are disappointed that the ShoreTel Board has rejected our proposal and refused to engage with us. Mitel continues to believe that the proposal offers ShoreTel shareholders an attractive premium," McBee said. "We remain open to constructive and progressive discussions."

What would ShoreTel offer Mitel?

ShoreTel recorded $90.4 million in revenue during the first quarter of fiscal 2015, which represented a 7 percent year-over-year increase. The PBX business phone systems company also expects to earn between $85 million and $91 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2015.

Mitel, meanwhile, has "undergone a massive transformation," according to McBee. The cloud communications company recorded $288.7 million in revenue in the second quarter of this year, up from $146.6 million in the second quarter of 2013, and acquiring ShoreTel could help Mitel further extend its global reach.

"Over the next 18 months, we are focused on further momentum and growth," a Mitel spokesperson told Talkin' Cloud earlier this month. "Cloud communications continue to be a strategic area of focus, and we offer the best path to the cloud. We are helping customers migrate at their pace to private, public and hybrid cloud communications."

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