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Silver Lake keen on Tandberg, rival in wings-paper

OSLO, Aug 19 (Reuters) - U.S. Private equity investor Silver Lake is ready to pay more than $2.59 billion for Norwegian video conference systems firm Tandberg, but another group is working on a rival bid, daily Dagens Naeringsliv said on Tuesday.

Tandberg said on Aug. 13 it had been approached by a private equity player interested in talks on a potential bid.

The newspaper said Silver Lake, which is specialises in investing in technology companies, was considering a bid of 14-15 billion Norwegian crowns ($2.59 billion - $2.78 billion).

“The price Silver Lake is willing to pay is around 125 crowns per share,” the newspaper said, citing anonymous sources. Tandberg shares closed at 115.50 crowns on Monday.

A bid of 125 crowns would be a premium of 27.5 percent to Tandberg’s closing price on Aug. 12, before it said it had been approached. Trade on the Oslo bourse resumes at 0700 GMT.

The paper said that a dividend of 2 crowns per Tandberg share was also being discussed, according to several sources.

“Dagens Naeringsliv has learned that another large acquisition fund is seeking to to mount a competing bid,” the newspaper said. “However, the name of the player is not known.”

The paper said that Silver Lake had been in contact with DNB NOR DNBNOR.OL and Nordea NDA.ST to discuss financing.

Tandberg and Silver Lake officials could not be reached immediately for comment.

Silver Lake says on its web site it is focused on large-scale investments in leading technology companies. In October 2007, Silver Lake, TPG Capital and co-investors bought network equipment maker Avaya Inc in an $8.3 billion deal.

Tandberg dominates the video conference systems market in a near duopoly with U.S. rival Polycom PLCM.O. (Reporting by John Acher; Editing by David Cowell)

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