Cisco to buy UK IP telephony company Calista

Cisco Systems has agreed to purchase UK-based Calista for $US55 million in stock, the US networking company announced yesterday.

Privately-held Calista has developed technology which allows phone networks from different vendors to communicate with one another via an internet-based infrastructure. The technology is designed to help companies make the transition from circuit-based phone systems to packet-switched systems based on IP (Internet Protocol) technology, according to Cisco officials yesterday.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of Cisco's fiscal year 2000 and will result in a one-time charge of about one US cent per share for purchased in-process research and development, Cisco said.

Calista designs and manufactures devices which connect telephone exchanges to IP networks, voicemail systems and call recording systems, according to information on the company's Web site.

Founded in 1995, the UK company has offices in San Jose, California; Boston, Massachusetts; and Chalfont St. Peter, UK. Calista's president and chief executive officer Mark Richer will continue to head up the company, but will report to Cisco vice president and general banager Prem Jain, who works in Cisco's enterprise division.

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