Cisco acquiring mobile infrastructure solutions leader Starrent Networks for $2.9 billion

Yesterday, it was announced that Cisco is to acquire Starent Networks, a leading supplier of IP-based mobile infrastructure solutions targeting mobile and converged carriers. Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco will pay $35 per share in cash in exchange for each share of Starent Networks and assume outstanding equity awards for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $2.9 billion. The acquisition has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies. The acquisition is expected to close during the first half of calendar year 2010.

Starent Networks’ mobile infrastructure solutions play an important role in enabling Service Providers to scale their mobile infrastructure and monetize their investments via differentiated experiences. The company provides the multimedia intelligence, core network functions and services to manage access from any 2.5G, 3G, and 4G radio network to a mobile operator’s packet core network.

Until the deal closes, Cisco and Starent Networks will continue to operate as separate companies. Upon completion of the transaction, Starent Networks will become the new Mobile Internet Technology Group led by Starent Networks’ President and Chief Executive Officer Ashraf Dahod, within Cisco’s Service Provider Business.

“We are very pleased that Starent Networks will be joining the Cisco team, and we believe their products and engineering talent will greatly benefit our Service Provider customers as they build out their Mobile Internet offerings, ” said Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers.

“Cisco and Starent Networks share a common vision and bring complementary technologies designed to accelerate the transition to the Mobile Internet, where the network is the platform for Service Providers to launch, deliver and monetize the next generation of mobile multimedia applications and services, ” said Cisco senior vice president and general manager of Service Provider Business Pankaj Patel.

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