ShoreTel has splashed out almost $150m to acquire hosted comms specialist M5 Networks.
The IP telephony vendor has paid $84m (£53m) in cash and more than $60m in shares to snap up New York-based M5. The privately held hosted firm's shareholders will receive an additional $13.7m if certain revenue thresholds for 2012 are exceeded.
ShoreTel claims the acquisition, which is expected to close next month, will give it a unique ability to offer top-notch hosted and on-premise unified communications (UC) offerings.
"The acquisition of M5 positions ShoreTel as a leader in the fast-growing cloud UC market and delivers a suite of hosted telephony solutions that is unmatched in the marketplace," said Peter Blackmore, chief executive of ShoreTel. "This acquisition is a critical step in our evolution and enables the company to capitalise on trends in cloud computing and advance our enterprise communications strategy."
M5 was founded 12 years ago and now has more than 2,000 customers. It will operate as a business unit of its new owner, and will continue to be helmed by incumbent chief executive Dan Hoffman. Engineering personnel will operate separately but collaboratively, said ShoreTel.
Resellers on the VoIP player's Champion Partner Programme will, in due course, be offered certifications in hosted services.
"M5 is proud to be one of the leaders in the UC cloud market. We have achieved this position with a very strong management team and an excellent product offering that is the simplest in the industry," said Hoffman. "Joining forces with ShoreTel enables us to reach our ambitions of scale and cement our position in the hosted UC marketplace."
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