In a bid to solidify its networking hardware business, Oracle
is intending to purchase equipment manufacturer Acme Packet Inc from Bedford, MA for $2.1 billion. The deal is Oracle's largest acquisition since it purchased Sun Microsystems
for $7 billion, and follows a year rife with purchases, all pointing to a greater emphasis on the hardware aspects of its business in the future.
Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White said of the purchase that Oracle will "make a bigger push into the networking market as convergence across the IT world appears to be inevitable and today's deal supports this notion." According to an Oracle statement regarding the deal, the merger will "accelerate the migration to all-IP networks by enabling secure and reliable communications from any device, across any network."
The deal has been unanimously approved by Acme Packets' board of directors, is expected to clear regulatory agencies, and close in the first half of 2013 with $1.7 billion in cash involved in the deal. Acme's stock price had dropped by 18 percent over the last several quarters as the continuing economic climate has forced tighter budgets and outright cancellation of projects. Oracle's offer presents a 22 percent premium to Acme Packet's stock price on Friday.
Shares of Acme have jumped over 22 percent, and is currently trading at trading at $29.21, eclipsing the offer per-share for the deal by a few cents. Oracle's shares have fallen 2.69 percent, down nearly a dollar in today's trading.