Cisco buys Fibex Systems, Sentient Networks

Cisco Systems yesterday said it has signed definitive agreements to acquire two California networking companies for around $US445 million.

Cisco will buy Fibex Systems of Petaluma, a maker of IADLC (Integrated Access Digital Loop Carrier) devices, which combine traditional voice services with data services using ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) as the underlying architecture. Cisco will also buy Sentient Networks of Milpitas, maker of a high-density ATM CES (Circuit Emulation Service) gateway, which facilitates the offering of private-line services over ATM networks, company officials said.

The purchases will help Cisco assist telecommunications companies in migrating to cell and packet-based networks by combining their circuit-based equipment with Internet-based data, voice and video gear, Cisco officials said.

Under the terms of the acquisitions, shares of Cisco common stock with an aggregate value of about $445 million will be exchanged for all outstanding shares and options of privately-held Fibex Systems and Sentient Networks, officials said. Both acquisitions will be accounted for as a pooling of interests and are expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of fiscal 1999, they said.

According to the company, the acquisitions, which have been approved by the boards of directors of both Fibex Systems and Sentient Networks, are still subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions.

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