Cisco Buys Starent Networks for $2.9 billion

starent

Cisco will acquire networking products company Starent for $2.9 billion. Tech consolidation fever continues. The Wall Street Journal has more:

Cisco will pay $35 a share for Starent, a Tewksbury, Mass., maker of software and gear for wireless carriers. That represents about a 21% premium over Starent’s closing stock price of $29.03 Monday on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Cisco, based in San Jose, Calif., expects the deal to close during the first half of 2010.

The acquisition is likely to increase Cisco’s ability to help carriers manage the data moving across their wireless networks, said Ned Hooper, chief of Cisco’s strategy office. The amount of data that travels on these networks is set to double each year until 2013 as people increasingly access the Internet via their mobile devices, according to Cisco.

Upon completion of the deal, Starent is to become the Mobile Internet Technology Group within Cisco’s service-provider business. The new group is to be managed by Starent Chief Executive Ashraf Dahod.