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Cisco buys European software maker

The No. 1 Internet equipment maker agrees to acquire European software maker Atlantech Technologies in a stock deal valued at approximately $180 million.

    Cisco Systems today said it has agreed to acquire European software maker Atlantech Technologies in a stock deal valued at approximately $180 million.

    The network-equipment giant said the acquisition of Atlantech will help round out its network management offerings to further support its move in providing integrated data, voice and video networks. Atlantech develops network management software, which helps companies monitor bandwidth use, spot potential network bottlenecks and pinpoint troubled equipment.

    Cisco has been busy beefing up its offerings to support voice and video networking, competing head to head with rivals Lucent and Nortel Networks. Last week, the company announced a partnership with Tekelec to help telephone companies move their voice traffic to open networks, making it easier for the delivery of such services as toll-free numbers and caller identification on new networks.

    Under terms of the deal, Cisco common stocks with a combined value of approximately $180 million will be exchanged for all outstanding Atlantech shares and options. Cisco, which already holds a minority stake of 9.5 percent in the privately held company, said for the fourth-quarter it expects to take a one-time charge of up to 2 cents per share in connection with the deal.

    Additionally, Cisco said the Atlantech acquisition will enable the company to provide service providers and partners with a single, integrated framework for their network management needs across multiple networks. Atlantech's software works with other existing management systems, such as older, legacy operating support systems (OSS) and billing software, the companies said.

    Atlantech, which was founded in 1992, said its 120 employees will be led by chief executive David Sibbald and will join Cisco's communications software and network services group. They will continue to operate in Glasgow, Scotland.

    The deal, which has been approved by both companies' boards, is subject to various closing conditions and regulatory approval.