Going private in $2 billion deal will enable Mitel to be more aggressive in transition to UCaaS

Todd Abbott, Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Service at Mitel

Unified communications vendor Mitel has signed a definitive arrangement agreement to be acquired by an investor group led by affiliates of Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P. for approximately $2.0 billion in cash, including Mitel’s net debt. For shareholders, who will get $11.15 per common share in cash, it’s a good deal, as it represents a premium of 24 per cent to the 90-calendar-day volume-weighted average price of Mitel common shares through April 23, 2018.  For customers and partners, it is business as usual. Upon completion of the transaction, expected in the second half of 2018, Mitel will become a privately held company. The company says that will allow them to accelerate their move-to-the-cloud strategy. They also say that it will not impact the company’s roadmap or channel strategy in any way, and that Mitel’s current leadership will remain in place.

“Once the acquisition closes, Mitel will be led by the same leadership team, driving the same strategies as today,” said Todd Abbott, Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Service at Mitel. “That in itself is a validation of the leadership team by the private equity firm that is buying the company.”

Customers and partners should not expect to see any day to day changes in how Mitel is run, or how it goes to market.

“From a tactical perspective, there will be no change,” Abbott said. “We will continue to execute with the current leadership team and the current strategy.”

In the long run, Abbott said that the deal will have an impact, but that it will be a positive one.

“Longer term, this will allow us to more aggressively make the shift from on-site to UCaaS [Unified Communications-as-a-service,” he said. That was already Mitel’s strategy, but Abbott said going private will make the execution easier.

“When you have to make these changes under the lights of quarterly results, you are sometimes forced to make decisions that may not be as aggressive as they need to be,” he stated. “Private equity has a longer-term view – to help companies make longer term transitions without being under the glare of quarterly results.”