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Mitel looking at life as a private entity

The unified comms player has accepted an offer that would see it go into private hands

It has been a busy few months for Mitel with the firm rolling out a unified partner programme and bedding down a product portfolios and routes to market following its acquisition of ShoreTel.

Now there is a need to provide partners with an update on what the $2bn sale of Mitel to an investor group led by affiliates of Searchlight Capital Partners.

The Mitel sale means the firm will become a private entity and its move to the cloud can get the boost of  being able to be carried out away from the pressure of giving Wall Street quarterly updates.

“Mitel has succeeded for 45 years because of persistent innovation and relentless focus on delivering shareholder value. Our Board determined that this transaction, upon closing, will deliver immediate, significant and certain cash value to our shareholders," said Terry Matthews, Mitel co-founder and chairman.

"We believe this transaction will provide Mitel with additional flexibility as a private company to pursue the company’s move-to-the-cloud strategy," he added.

That sense of flexibility, one of the major benefits that Michael Dell highlighted after taking his firm private, was echoed by Mitel CEO Rich McBee.

"As a private company, and with the strategic and capital support of the Searchlight funds, we will have greater flexibility to manage the transition in our market, accelerate our strategy, and drive the next phase of success for our customers, partners, and employees,” he said.

There is the possibility that another offer could emerge and proposed deal includes a 45-day “go-shop” period, which allows Mitel’s Board and advisors to "actively solicit, evaluate and potentially enter into negotiations with parties that make alternative acquisition proposals through June 7, 2018".

Mitel introduced a unified global partner programme at the start of the month to support resellers selling unified comms and has been built around three partner levels - platinum, gold and authorised -  with streamlined requirements to make it easier for resellers to get onboard.

To push cloud sales there is a point-based system that measures hosted and on-site partner performance and Mitel is also hoping its growth incentives will spur on top-performing resellers.

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