Keysight makes $1.5B bid on Spirent Communications, outpacing VIAVI’s initial offer

March 29, 2024
Spirent backs the new higher offer, but VIAVI says Keysight's rival deal will hinder competitive choice.  

Keysight Technologies has made a rival bid of $1.46 billion for Spirent Communications, challenging VIAVI’s earlier bid for the British-based test and measurement company.

Under the terms of Keysight’s agreement, Spirent shareholders will also be entitled to receive a special dividend of 2.5 pence per Spirent share instead of any final dividend for the year ended 31 December 2023 (together with the cash consideration of 199 pence per share, the “Offer”).

Keysight said it sees Spirent’s business as highly attractive and aligned with Keysight’s long-term software-centric solutions strategy. Additionally, Keysight sees strategic synergy between the two firms, and the two companies’ complementary products will help customers address their complex engineering challenges. By adding Spirent’s offerings to its portfolio, Keysight expects to address new serviceable available market opportunities of up to $1.5 billion.

“Spirent has a differentiated portfolio, which is a strong fit for Keysight,” said Satish Dhanasekaran, President and CEO of Keysight. “Both companies focus on empowering and accelerating high-value customer solutions. In Keysight, Spirent will join a platform of significant customer scale with the capacity to provide the necessary capital and resources to help Spirent grow and accelerate the delivery of its strategic vision.”

Spirent gives support

For its part, Spirent has withdrawn its support for Viavi’s offer, which was 15% lower than Keysight’s bid.

"Following my discussions with the Keysight management team, I am excited about the broader reach and expanded long-term prospects for Spirent arising from the combination with Keysight," said Eric Updyke, CEO of Spirent, according to a Reuters report. 

Spirent said its board of directors intends to unanimously recommend the Offer, which is conditional on, among other things, the approval of most of the Spirent Shareholders at the Court Meeting and the Spirent General Meeting and regulatory approval as laid out in the Offer announcement.

Spirent has 1,500 employees and serves 1,100 customers in over 50 countries. Keysight said its acquisition proposal would lead to less than 5% headcount reductions across the combined group.

VIAVI cites competitive concerns

VIAVI Solutions isn't taking rival bid from Keysight sitting down.

Earlier this month, VIAVI announced it would acquire Spirent Communications for $1.27 billion to enhance its ability to serve a broad range of service providers, data centers, and other infrastructure opportunities.

The company said that Keysight’s bid could hurt customers by limiting their options for test and measurement needs, as one vendor controls more of the market.

“VIAVI believes that its Acquisition represents certain value and notes its limited business overlap with Spirent relative to Keysight,” the company said in a statement. “VIAVI believes that the proposed combination of Keysight and Spirent would further entrench Keysight’s leading position in many product segments, limiting customer choice.”

For related articles, visit the Business Topic Center.

For more information on high-speed transmission systems and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

To stay abreast of fiber network deployments, subscribe to Lightwave’s Service Providers and Datacom/Data Center newsletters.

Sponsored Recommendations

Scaling Moore’s Law and The Role of Integrated Photonics

April 8, 2024
Intel presents its perspective on how photonic integration can enable similar performance scaling as Moore’s Law for package I/O with higher data throughput and lower energy consumption...

Coherent Routing and Optical Transport – Getting Under the Covers

April 11, 2024
Join us as we delve into the symbiotic relationship between IPoDWDM and cutting-edge optical transport innovations, revolutionizing the landscape of data transmission.

From 100G to 1.6T: Navigating Timing in the New Era of High-Speed Optical Networks

Feb. 19, 2024
Discover the dynamic landscape of hyperscale data centers as they embrace accelerated AI/ML growth, propelling a transition from 100G to 400G and even 800G optical connectivity...

Constructing Fiber Networks: The Value of Solutions

March 20, 2024
In designing and provisioning a fiber network, it’s important to think of it as more than a collection of parts. In this webinar, AFL’s Josh Simer will show how a solution mindset...