Juniper to buy Siemens' Unisphere unit

Carrier network gear vendor Juniper Networks has agreed to acquire Unisphere Networks, a network equipment division of Siemens AG, in a deal that also will give Juniper access to Siemens' worldwide sales channels, the companies announced Monday.

Juniper, in Sunnyvale, California, the biggest rival to giant Cisco Systems Inc. in the router business, will acquire Unisphere for US$375 million and 36.5 million shares, according to a statement from the companies. Based on Juniper's closing stock price of $9.85 on Friday, the deal will be worth about $740 million, the statement said. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the third calendar quarter of this year.

Unisphere, based in Westford, Massachusetts, makes routers, gateway devices, and other equipment and software for networks based on IP (Internet Protocol).

As part of the agreement, Munich-based Siemens will sell Juniper's routers and other carrier equipment through its sales and system integration operations around the world. Juniper's equipment will help Siemens create next-generation networks that can carry voice and video as well as data over IP networks, the company said.

At the close of the transaction, if it is approved, Siemens will own slightly less than 10 percent of Juniper, according to the statement.

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