Private equity, Midmarket, Content, Telecom cloud

Mitel Acquiring Avaya?

Mitel Networks has bid to acquire Avaya, according to Bloomberg. Avaya's stock jumped about 9 percent on the report. The two technology companies, both in the unified communications and collaboration technology market, have had on again/off again merger discussions since about April 2019, according to multiple reports.

Update, October 3, 2019: RingCentral Invests In Avaya

Update, September 12, 2019: Avaya statement on potential company sale.

Original August 19, 2019 report

Avaya in early August 2019 disclosed that it was evaluating strategic deals for the company. At the time, the technology company said it expected to reach a decision on the discussions by September 2019. The statement did not include any third-party bidder names.

Rumors about Avaya being up for sale have swirled throughout 2019. Potential bidders, in addition to Mitel, may include private equity firms Apollo Global Management and Permira Holdings, according to an April 2019 Bloomberg report.

Mitel Bids to Acquire Avaya: Company Backgrounds

Mitel, owned by private equity firm Searchlight Capital Partners, specializes in all-in-one communications, collaboration and contact center solutions  firm. Mitel has considerable acquisition experience. The company  purchased ShoreTel for $530 million in July 2017, creating a $1.3 billion unified communications and cloud services business in the process. Mitel also purchased some Toshiba communications assets in May 2017. However, the company has also been left at the altar at least once. Indeed, Mitel tried and failed to buy Polycom in July 2016 for $2 billion.

Meanwhile, Avaya has evolved from a hardware provider into a cloud-centric communications provider over the past decade. But the journey hasn’t been easy. After stumbling under previous owners, the company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2017 with hits partner strategy intact.

Avaya typically holds its major partner and customer conference in Q1 of each year. The Avaya Engage 2020 conference is scheduled for February in Phoenix.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.