Cisco gets latitude

Cisco Systems is to acquire publicly-held Santa Clara, CA-based Latitude Communications, a provider of voice, video and web conferencing products.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco will pay $3.95 in cash for each outstanding share of Latitude, or approximately $80 million in the aggregate, and will convert outstanding Latitude options to Cisco options.

‘This acquisition will enable Cisco to deliver intelligent multimedia conferencing solutions which take advantage of dynamic network information – such as presence and location data about network users,’ said Don Proctor, Vice President and General Manager, Cisco’s Voice Technology Group.

Latitude’s MeetingPlace software can be integrated with desktop scheduling applications such as IBM/Lotus Notes and Microsoft Outlook, as well as with data collaboration and instant messaging solutions such as IBM/Lotus Sametime. It can also be integrated with Cisco CallManager, enabling users to schedule, attend, and manage meetings using the display on Cisco IP phones. Cisco and Latitude also intend to integrate MeetingPlace with Cisco IP/VC for video conferencing capability.

Upon closing of the acquisition, Latitude’s business will become part of Cisco’s Voice Technology Group, reporting to Don Proctor, Vice President and General Manager. Its products will be sold under the Cisco brand through Cisco sales channels.

The acquisition of Latitude is expected to close in the second quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2004. It is still subject to Latitude stockholder approval, various standard closing conditions, and regulatory approvals.