Polycom’s private equity takeover completed

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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Polycom’s $2bn acquisition by private equity investors Siris Capital has been completed under new CEO Mary McDowell

Private equity group Siris Capital has completed its $2 billion acquisition of video and voice communications specialist Polycom, which has appointed former Nokia executive Mary McDowell as CEO.

Siris – which also owns Digital River, PGi and Xura – snatched Polycom away in July from a planned takeover by Mitel, by offering 14% more than Mitel was prepared to pay.

McDowell said: “As an independent private company, we will build on Polycom’s market leading position and make strategic, innovative moves to proactively address changing market dynamics and customer needs.”

McDowell was an executive partner at Siris Capital but is better known in the telecoms industry for eight years at Nokia, finishing in 2012 as executive vice president for mobile phones. She joined Nokia in 2004 to lead the enterprise solutions business was later its chief development officer. She succeeds Peter Leav as Polycom’s CEO, a position he had held since the end of 2013.

With the takeover, Polycom’s stock ceases trading on the Nasdaq exchange in the US. Polycom had to pay Mitel a $60 million break-up fee when that deal was called off. Siris paid $40 million more for Polycom, but in cash.