Sir Terry Matthews sells Mitel for $2 billion

Welsh technology entrepreneur Sir Terry Matthews has sold business communications firm Mitel to an investor group led by Searchlight Capital for $2 billion.

Last week, Mitel announced it had signed an agreement with the venture capital firm, which will see its shareholders receive $11.15 per common share in cash.

Once the transaction is completed, Mitel will begin operating as a privately held company with “additional flexibility”. The company will use the deal to accelerate its move-to-the-cloud strategy.

The board said it is “unanimously determined” to complete the deal and that it is in the interests of shareholders. Shareholders are expected to approve the deal soon.

Terry Matthews, co-founder and chairman of Mitel, said: “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.

“It also affirms the tremendous value and market leadership of Mitel. We believe this transaction will provide Mitel with additional flexibility as a private company to pursue the company’s move-to-the-cloud strategy.”

Operating in North America and Europe, Searchlight has completed a range of high-profile technology acquisitions in the past few years, including the takeover of cloud computing firm Rackspace.

Mitel expects the deal to be finalised by the second quarter of 2018, when it has received approval from shareholders and regulators. The firm’s CEO, Rich McBee, also praised the arrangement.

“This transaction is an exciting next step in our multi-year transformation that has enabled Mitel to emerge as an industry leader in the largest markets in the world,” he said.

“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.”