The unified communications market is increasingly shrinking, as acquisitions hoover up companies large and small. The latest round has seen audio solutions provider Plantronics buy out UCC giant Polycom.
Plantronics said that the acquisition would ‘accelerate’ its vision and enable the company to deliver a broad portfolio of UCC endpoints: a relatively new market. To-date, the firm has only had a presence in the UCaaS space with its professional headsets.
“Plantronics now offers an unparalleled portfolio of integrated, intelligent solutions that spans headsets, software, desk phones, audio and video conferencing, and cloud services,” said CEO Joe Burton. “This combined offering empowers people with the tools and flexibility they need to create the best experience when connecting to what is most important to them.”
Marco Landi, SVP of EMEA and APAC at Polycom, told us: “It’s great for Polycom to join an industry leader like Plantronics as customers want simple, great communication and collaboration experiences. Our combined portfolio has complimentary solutions that cater to all types of businesses, regardless of their size and industry. Plantronics and Polycom are better together as one great collaboration company.”
The audio provider paid $2 billion for Polycom, consisting of about $1.6 billion in cash and 6.4 million Plantronics shares. The company completed the financing through a $1.3 billion loan, maturing in July 2025. The companies expect annual run-rate cost synergies of $75 million within 12 months.
The product portfolios of both companies are largely complementary, with one focusing on UCaaS and the other on ‘pure’ UC. Plantronics will gain access to the UC hardware market, including desktop phones and audio conferencing, as well as strengthening its presence in the Microsoft ecosystem; Polycom leads for IP desktop phones deployed in that space, while Plantronics has shipped around 9 million headset tops in the Lync/Skype for Business/Teams environments.
Other areas where Polycom has a strong presence are video conferencing, SaaS, cloud-based monitoring and channel partnerships.
Plantronics will release financial results for its fiscal Q1’19 on the 7th August. Given that the acquisition closed after the quarter ended, Plantronics will issue financial results on a standalone basis for the quarter but intends to issue guidance for the September quarter on a combined basis.