3Com sold to Bain in $2.2 billion deal

The networking company announces a buyout by Bain Capital, with China's Huawei Technologies taking a stake.

3Com logo

Networking company 3Com announced Friday that it will be acquired by private equity company Bain Capital and former joint-venture partner Huawei Technologies in a $2.2 billion cash deal.

The transaction, first reported in the Wall Street Journal, will give China's Huawei a minority stake in the Marlborough, Mass.-based company.

3Com, which has struggled in the shadow of networking giant Cisco, would once again link up Huawei to its former joint venture with 3Com, H3C. In March, 3Com bought out Huawei's remaining stake for $882 million, securing full ownership of H3C.

"3Com has a strong competitive position, and we believe there are significant opportunities to grow by acquiring customers and introducing new products," Jonathan Zhu, a Bain Capital managing director based in Hong Kong, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, a sale to Bain may nix 3Com's earlier plans to spin off TippingPoint, a networking security company it acquired in 2004 for $430 million. 3Com is well-versed in spin-offs, having cut loose its former handheld device unit, Palm, in 2000.

The Bain-3Com deal, valued at $5.30 a share, is expected close in the first quarter.

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