Cisco snags Procket

The deal marks a steep decline for Procket, which launched as one of the most highly valued telecom start-ups.

Cisco Systems is buying the assets of start-up Procket Networks in a deal worth $89 million, the companies said Thursday.

Procket put itself up for sale last week, marking a steep decline from its launch in 1999 as one of the most highly valued telecommunications start-ups in the United States.

Cisco said it will pay cash for select assets of Procket, including its intellectual property, and will hire a majority of its engineers. The engineers will become part of Cisco's Routing Technology Group under senior vice presidents Prem Jain and Mike Volpi.

The deal is subject to various closing conditions and regulatory approvals. It is expected to close in Cisco's current quarter.

Procket makes routers for controlling Internet traffic and had targeted the high-end market, positioning itself against companies like Cisco and Juniper Networks . While the company had launched with well-respected founders, it only signed on a few customers, the most notable being NTT in Japan.

Cisco, which recently launched a new high-end router for large telecom companies, said the Procket deal "will add a rich intellectual property portfolio and a team of proven silicon and software architects" to the company.

"The addition of Procket's engineering team to Cisco offers a unique opportunity to accelerate development of silicon and software across Cisco's next-generation routing portfolio," Volpi said in a statement.

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    Margaret is a former news editor for CNET News, based in the Boston bureau.

     

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