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Agilent buys OSI for $665 mln

    Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) said Monday that it will buy operations-support-system (OSS) software maker Objective Systems Integrators Inc. (Nasdaq: OSII) for about $665 million.

    Shares in Agilent, a spin-off from Hewlett-Packard Co., closed Friday's shortened session up 2.94 to 50.94. Objective Systems jumped 22 percent in pre-session trading.

    According to the deal, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Agilent will pay $17.75 per share in cash for the OSS software maker.

    Agilent said the merger will cut its earnings per share in fiscal 2001 earnings by 2 cents, but will slightly bump up revenue growth for the year. The company also expects the purchase to generate about $618 million in goodwill, other intangibles and research and development.

    The deal is expected to close in approximately six weeks, after completion of the tender offer and other closing conditions have been met.

    Last week, Agilent posted strong fourth quarter numbers, beating analyst forecasts for the period, and reaffirmed its guidance for the first quarter.