News broke last week that Mitel is proposing an all-stock buy-out of Avaya. The week prior, rumors were circulating that Avaya was engaging bankers to find a buyer. This is the latest twist in a long, zig-zagging road for the company. It’s only been 16 months since they emerged from bankruptcy.
There’s a tasty irony to an Avaya-Mitel merger. Avaya’s core call center business was the result of an acquisition of Nortel assets, following the latter’s bankruptcy in 2009. That collapse is still a psychic wound for the Canadian tech industry. It’s one of those “Where were you when you heard?” kind of moments.
Mitel too holds a special place in the Canadian tech world. Co-founder Sir Terry Matthews is an actual gosh-darned knight. The company is now owned by private equity but is still headquartered in Ottawa.
While the Canada angle is entertaining, the impact of a Mitel-Avaya merger would have very material affects on the contact center world.