Mitel channel should enjoy flexibility and pace after vendor goes private

With Mitel looking to accept an offer that would take it private the message for the channel is that it's business as usual but there is the prospect of something even better coming after the deal closes

The planned acquisition of Mitel and the decision to take the unified comms player into private hands should be a positive for the channel.

The firm revealed yesterday that it had received a $2bn offer from to an investor group led by affiliates of Searchlight Capital Partners, which would take it into private ownership.

Richard Roberts,  vice president for UK/Ireland and EMEA channels at Mitel, said that the main message for the channel was that it would be business as usual and the new owners had been attracted to the business because of the strength of its indirect partner base.

 He stressed that for the channel the main message was that for now it was business as usual but in the long term a move into private ownership would be a positive.

"They might see a change in pace as we can afford to bring innovation to the market. There are opportunities as a private company to make investments for the longer term," he said.

"If you move at the right pace you need to make sure you are structured appropriately ands have the speed to make the transition," he added.

The firm is aiming to increase its cloud capabilities and is looking to work with partners on that front. It recently rolled out a global unified channel programme, having completed the integration of ShoreTel.

Roberts said that the reaction from the channel had been favourable, with many looking forward to greater flexibility that should come as a result of the private status.

"Most of the channel are also looking to reshape their business and understand the reasons we are making the transition," he added.

Mitel's Board has the option to look at other offers for the business but needs to have made up its mind by the 7 June. Given the comments made by the senior management team yesterday it looks as if there is a keenness to  work with the current suitor.

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