Starent to Cisco: Hey, Big Spender
Cisco CEO John Chambers wasn’t kidding when he said we’d see the company move into a number of new markets via acquisition over the next year.
Earlier this year, Cisco (CSCO) acquired Pure Digital, developer of the Flip video camera, for $590 million. Two weeks ago, the company spent $3 billion on videoconferencing system maker Tandberg. And now it’s purchasing wireless infrastructure outfit Starent Networks (STAR) for $2.9 billion, or $35 a share. That’s a 21 percent premium over Starent’s closing price on Monday of $29.03, but it’s likely money well spent for Cisco.
Starent makes hardware and software to support wireless multimedia services, an obvious sweet spot in the data services market right now. Indeed, Cisco expects global mobile data traffic to more than double every year through 2013. Which makes Starent a pretty good growth bet, from on acquisition standpoint.