Reuters, citing "people familiar with the matter," reports that Keysight Technologies Inc. (NYSE:KEYS) is set to buy fellow test and measurement equipment provider Ixia (NASDAQ:XXIA) for more than $1.6 billion. Keysight came out on top in an auction for the company and could announce a purchase agreement as soon as Monday, January 30, according to the report.
Reuters did not report why Ixia was the subject of an auction.
If the report is accurate, the purchase of Ixia would add wireline network test product lines to the wireless network testers Keysight already provides; Ixia also provides wireless network test systems as well as security and network visibility products. The acquisition would be Keysight's first significant deal since it spun out of Agilent Technologies in November 2014 (see "Agilent to split into two companies" and "Agilent electronic test unit assumes Keysight Technologies name"). Ixia also provides instruments that can be used in lab applications that would complement Keysight's products in that area. The company has consistently been early to market with test equipment for high-speed Ethernet applications (see, for example, "Ixia offers 100GbE testing capability" and "Ixia jump starts 400 Gigabit Ethernet test").
Reuters suggests that Keysight will pay more than $19 per share of Ixia. Ixia shares closed at $18.20 this past Friday. This would not be the first time the two companies have engaged in an asset sales transaction. Ixia purchased the Agilent N2X data network test line in 2009 (see "Ixia to buy Agilent's N2X data network testing lineup").
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