Zoom to buy cloud-based call center operator Five9 in $15 bln deal



July 19 (Reuters) - Zoom Video Communications Inc ZM.O struck a $14.7 billion all-stock deal to buy cloud-based call center operator Five9 Inc FIVN.O in its largest-ever acquisition, as it looks to expand beyond its core video-conferencing services.

Zoom has become a household name and investor favorite in the year since the coronavirus pandemic, as businesses and schools adopted its services to hold virtual classes, office meets and socialize.

But with rapid vaccination and life creeping back to normality, analysts and investors are looking to see how Zoom will sustain its hot streak of growth, especially with rivals Microsoft Corp MSFT.O , Cisco Systems Inc CSCO.O and Alphabet Inc's GOOGL.O Google snapping at its heels.

Five9, whose call center software is used by more than 2,000 clients across the globe to interact with their clients, counts firms such as Under Armour UAA.N , Lululemon Athletica Inc LULU.O and Olympus Corp 7733.T as customers.

The deal makes strategic sense, as it helps accelerate Zoom's product roadmap outside of its core offering, Barclays analyst Raimo Lenschow wrote in a note.

The San Jose, California-based company is now shifting focus to its two-year-old cloud-calling product Zoom Phone and conference-hosting product Zoom Rooms as bigger players amp up their video products.

"The acquisition is expected to help enhance Zoom's presence with enterprise customers and allow it to accelerate its long-term growth opportunity by adding the $24-billion contact center market," Zoom said in a statement on Sunday.

Under the terms of the deal, approved by the boards of both companies, Five9 stockholders will receive 0.5533 shares of Zoom stock for each share of Five9.

Based on Zoom's Friday close, this represents a price of $200.28 for each share of Five9 common stock, or nearly a 13% premium.

Zoom shares, which have surged more than 450% since going public in 2019, were down 1.5% on Monday. Five9 shares were up 6% at $188.5.

Five9 will become an operating unit of Zoom and its chief executive, Rowan Trollope, will become a president of the company, staying on as chief of the unit after the deal, which is expected to close in the first half of 2022, it said.

Global spending on cloud-based conferencing is forecast to reach $5.41 billion this year, up from $5.02 billion in 2020, according to tech consultancy Gartner. It does not track market share, but analysts cite Zoom and Cisco as the leaders.

Goldman Sachs advised Zoom and Qatalyst Partners advised Five9.
Reporting by Kanishka Singh, Subrat Patnaik and Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Miyoung Kim, Clarence Fernandez, Gerry Doyle and Anil D'Silva

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