Avaya to be sold for $8.2B

Network equipment manufacturer Avaya Inc. late Monday agreed to a $8.2 billion cash buyout by private equity firms TPG Capital LLP and Silver Lake Partners, the companies announced.

This latest acquisition continues a recent trend of networking and telecommunications firms being bought by private equity firms. In late May, TPG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s private equity arm bought mobile service provider Alltel Corp. for $27.5 billion. Bell Canada Ltd. remains a takeover target of a potential bid by Cerberus Capital Management LP.

The Basking Ridge, N.J., company's board of directors has accepted a $17.50-per-share offer, which must still be approved by Avaya shareholders. The offer places a premium of around 28% on the firm's value over Avaya's May 25 closing price of $13.67, the last day before rumors begun to circulate that the company would likely be acquired. The deal is expected to close in the fall of this year, the companies said.

The agreement allows Avaya to actively encourage bids for the company from other third parties over the next 50 days.

Avaya's relatively high cash flow and low debt made it a target to go private. Along with TPG and Silver Lake, Nortel Networks Corp. was also pursuing the former AT&T telecommunications equipment maker.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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