Canadian merger to form bigger player in business communications

Mitel will acquire Aastra for about $374 million to gain scale in unified communications

Size matters in the unified communications business, according to Mitel Networks and Aastra Technologies, two Canadian vendors that plan to merge early next year.

Mitel will pay about $392 million Canadian (US$374 million) for all of Aastra's outstanding shares under a deal approved by both boards of directors, the companies announced Monday. The transaction is subject to regulatory and other approvals and is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

Business communication and collaboration have expanded beyond dedicated PBXes (private branch exchanges) and room-based videoconferencing systems to include platforms that can reach mobile users through software and cloud services. Large competitors have consolidated and formed partnerships in recent years, with Cisco Systems buying video specialist Tandberg and Logitech acquiring LifeSize, among other deals.

"We believe that small competitors with narrow focus and limited global reach will quickly be marginalized," Mitel President and CEO Richard McBee said in a press release. The companies were also motivated by a mass migration to cloud-based services, he said.

Both companies sell a range of products for messaging, voice and video calling and other forms of collaboration. Aastra has complementary products and will bring Mitel a large installed base and greater geographic reach, the companies said. They said the merger would produce a company with more than US$1 billion in annual revenue, a $100 million cloud business, and more than 60 million end users in more than 100 countries. The company would expand aggressively in the U.S. enterprise cloud business, they said.

The merged company, to be based on Ottawa, would be called Mitel but keep using the Aastra brand in some European markets. McBee would lead the merged company, with Aastra's co-CEOs Francis Shen and Tony Shen becoming chief strategy officer and chief operating officer, the companies said.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Mergers and acquisitionsbusiness issuesNetworkingMitel NetworksAastra Technologies

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?