Cisco Sees Buyout As Way To Make Richer IP Phones - InformationWeek

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11/12/2003
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Cisco Sees Buyout As Way To Make Richer IP Phones

The company plans to rebrand Latitude products, but also to use the technology to improve its IP phones and video-conferencing equipment.

Cisco Systems is buying Web-conferencing vendor Latitude Communications Inc. with plans to integrate Latitude products with its own. The buyout awaits shareholder and government approval.

Founded in 1993, Latitude makes software, including its flagship product, MeetingPlace, that enables businesses to host rich-media Web conferences. The company has 183 employees, and it reported revenue of $8.3 million in its most recent quarter.

Cisco plans to rebrand Latitude products, but also to use the technology to improve its IP phones and video-conferencing equipment. Users of Cisco's IP phones would be able to schedule, attend, and manage meetings using those devices, says Don Proctor, general manager of Cisco's voice-technology group.

Cisco is offering $3.95 for each outstanding share of the company, for a total purchase price of around $80 million. The deal is expected to close by February. Upon completion of the deal, Latitude would become part of Cisco's voice-technology group.

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