Avaya to be sold for US$8.2 billion

Network equipment manufacturer Avaya to be sold to private equity firms TPG Capital and Silver Lake Partners

Network equipment manufacturer Avaya late Monday agreed to a US$8.2 billion cash buyout by private equity firms TPG Capital 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's private equity arm bought mobile service provider Alltel for US$27.5 billion. Bell Canada remains a takeover target of a potential bid by Cerberus Capital Management.

The Basking Ridge, New Jersey company's board of directors have accepted a US$17.50 per share offer, which must still be approved by Avaya shareholders. The offer places a premium of around 28 percent on the firm's value over Avaya's May 25 closing price of US$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 was also pursuing the former AT&T telecom equipment maker.

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