SpectraLink tender offer begins

Audio conferencing systems maker Polycom Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) today launched an expected tender offer to acquire Boulder’s SpectraLink Corp. (Nasdaq: SLNK), following last week’s expiration of the Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust waiting period for the deal.

The $220 million cash offer, which calls for Pleasanton, Calif.-based Polycom to pay $11.75 per share for all of SpectraLink’s outstanding shares, was announced last month and is expected to close during this year’s second quarter.

Polycom, which reported sales of $682 million last year, is best known for its speaker phones that are widely used for corporate conference calls. Spectralink, which lost $39 million on sales of $145 million during 2006, makes wireless phones, base stations and servers for hospitals, retail, warehouse and industrial settings. Polycom officials are eager to add SpectraLink’s wireless capabilities to their existing product line.

Spectralink, founded in 1990, has been a leader in WiFi telephone systems, which make calls via the standard 802.11 wireless networks found in many offices and homes. Demand for WiFi phones is growing as the market for voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) begins to take off, especially among business users.

SpectraLink employs about 300 people in Boulder, and 600 worldwide. No word from the company on how local employees will be affected, as yet-another Colorado tech company is sold.

Spectralink CEO John Elms is expected to leave the company after a transition period. Elms also serves as chairman of the Mountain States Council of the AeA (formerly the American Electronics Association), the nation’s largest high-tech trade group.

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