Cisco to Buy Scientific-Atlanta for $6.9B 23 minutes ago
Cisco Systems Inc. agreed Friday to acquire the cable TV technology company Scientific-Atlanta Inc. for about $6.9 billion in a move that would create a one-stop shop — and market leader — in distributing television to living rooms over the Internet.
The deal, which is Cisco's second largest ever, is an attempt to capitalize on a business that's expected to explode as telephone companies deploy fiber-based networks capable of carrying TV signals and the broadcast industry as a whole shifts to digital transmissions.
Cisco is paying $43 a share for Scientific-Atlanta, one of the largest makers of set-top boxes for television programs and movies-on-demand. That is a 3.7 percent premium over its closing price on Thursday.
Scientific-Atlanta shares rose 74 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $42.19 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, while Cisco shares slipped 23 cents to $17.14 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
"Video is emerging as the key strategic application in the service provider triple play bundle of consumer entertainment, communication and online services," said John Chambers, Cisco president and chief executive, in a statement. "The addition of Scientific-Atlanta further extends Cisco's commitment to and leadership in the service provider market."
Cisco said Scientific-Atlanta will become a division of its routing and service provider technology group, led by Cisco Senior Vice President Mike Volpi.
Jim McDonald, Scientific-Atlanta's president and chief executive, said the deal arose in part because customers are now expecting bundled services.
"These customers want more complete integrated solutions from fewer vendors," said McDonald, who said he will remain with the company for two years.
He said the purchase will help Cisco reduce the complexity of data transfer to service providers and other customers.
The deal, which was approved by the boards of both companies, is expected to close in the third quarter of Cisco's fiscal 2006 calendar, pending closing conditions.
San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco said it expects the deal to be neutral to its fiscal 2006 earnings, while slightly boosting its fiscal 2007 profit before items. Cisco said it will finance the transaction with cash and debt.
Analysts expect Cisco to earn $1.03 per share for fiscal 2006, and $1.18 per share for fiscal 2007, according to a Thomson Financial survey.
Scientific-Atlanta said last month that its fiscal first-quarter profit grew 9 percent to $60.7 million, but sales of $490 million fell shy of Wall Street's expectations.
Earlier this month, Cisco said its fiscal first-quarter profit slipped as it expensed employee stock options for the first time and the company predicted weaker-than-expected sales. The company has its core business of routers and switches that direct data traffic over the Internet as well as its advanced technologies such as storage, wireless and security products.
Cisco has been working on a half dozen, so-called advanced technologies that enhance its routers and switches. It's betting the technologies can each generate revenue of $1 billion or more each year. Cisco also plans to announce additional advanced technologies before the end of calendar 2005.
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