Mitel offers $540M for ShoreTel as part of U.S. expansion effort

Canada's Mitel Networks is eager to expand its presence in the United States so it has launched a $540 million bid to acquire its fellow voice services and systems gear competitor ShoreTel.

The $8.10 a share cash offer represents a 24 percent premium to ShoreTel's closing price on Friday, reports Reuters.

In early trading on Monday, ShoreTel's shares were listed at $7.58, a bit lower than the price of Mitel's offer, while Mitel's shares were up 3 percent at $8.67 on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Previously, ShoreTel's board rejected an offer Mitel made on Oct. 2 and would not talk to the company about a deal.

Mitel has been making progress in winning deals inside the U.S. market. Working with its service provider partner Frontier Communications, Mitel upgraded Illinois Wesleyan University to cloud-based voice services, for example.

Expanding into the U.S. is just one of many regions where Mitel has been eager to expand its presence. Last November, Mitel purchased fellow Canadian business communications vendor Aastra Technologies for $374 million as part of its effort to expand into the European market.

Besides the market expansion effort, both Mitel and ShoreTel have been gaining market share in the Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) space. The UCaaS space is growing annually at a rate of nearly 30 percent and currently accounts for about 8 percent of all managed and hosted business voice subscribers, according to a report from Synergy Research Group.

Synergy said that 8x8, ShoreTel and RingCentral, which combined make up about 36 percent of the market, lead the UCaaS market in terms of revenue. Leading the UCaaS space by subscribers is Fonality, Vocalocity and Mitel. 

For more:
- Reuters has this article

Related articles:
Frontier, Mitel move Illinois Wesleyan University into the cloud
Hybrid cloud deployments become larger factor in UCaaS growth, says Synergy Research
Synergy: UCaaS is growing nearly 30 percent annually
Frontier converges voice and data with cloud-based VoIP offering
Integra bolsters hosted, managed services with ProTel NetWorks purchase