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Cisco to buy WebLine Communications for $325 million

Cisco Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) said Wednesday it will buy privately-held WebLine Communications for $325 million in stock, to bolster development of its open software platform for enterprise and service provider customers.

Cisco shares sank 9/16 to 70 9/16 on this most recent purchase in Cisco's spending spree.

Webline, of Burlington, MA., provides customer interaction management software. Its products include a web collaboration tool that allows multiple parties to work together over the Internet. In a customer service scenario, the software synchronizes the web pages of the customer and the customer service agent. As an e-commerce tool, it allows people in separate locations to shop together over the Internet. The software also tracks incoming customer emails and manages the routing and response process.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco common stock worth $325 million will be exchanged for all outstanding shares, warrants and options of WebLine. The deal has been approved by both boards, and is expected to close in the second quarter of Cisco's fiscal year 2000.

This acquisition complements Cisco's recent purchase of GeoTel, according to the company's release. WebLine's products will be integrated with GeoTel's suite of distributed call center products for use in customer support.

Cisco has been on a spending spree, it just bought privately-held Cocom A/S of Copenhagen, Denmark for $65.6 million in stock last week. The purchase adds Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) software to its cable portfolio. Cocom is a developer of high-speed Internet access software over cable, satellite and wireless networks based on international standards.

Cisco also agreed to buy Cerent Corp. and Monterey Networks Inc. for a combined $7.36 billion in stock August 26, the latest move in the company's aggressive strategy to take on the hot market for optical networking.

WebLine's 120 employees will be lead by CEO Dan Keshian and will become part of Cisco's Applications Technology Group headed by Senior Vice President John Thibault.