Keysight Acquires Spirent Communications For $1.46 billion, Outbids Rival Viavi Solutions

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  • Keysight’s offers 85.9% premium over Spirent’s closing price on March 4, exceeding Viavi’s 61.4% premium.
  • Keysight expects new serviceable available market opportunities of up to $1.5 billion.
  • Spirent has expertise in automation and software-based next-generation communication networks, including 6G.

Test and Measurement equipment giant, Keysight Technologies, outbid Viavi Solutions to acquire Spirent Communications for around $1.46 billion (1.16 billion pounds).  Spirent’s expertise in automation and software-based next-generation communication networks, including 6G, is a key driver behind the acquisition. 

Keysight expects new serviceable available market opportunities of up to $1.5 billion following the acquisition of Spirent. The acquisition is seen as a strategic move to expand Keysight’s market reach and offerings.

Spirent is a global provider of automated test and assurance solutions for networks, cybersecurity, and positioning. The company’s products, services, and managed solutions address the test, assurance, and automation challenges of technologies such as 5G, SD-WAN, cloud, and autonomous vehicles. Spirent’s expertise in these areas will now be part of Keysight’s offerings.

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Both Keysight and Spirent are focused on enabling IT megatrends across multiple end markets, including communications, aerospace and defense, automotive, and enterprise sectors. Spirent’s business is aligned with Keysight’s long-term software-centric solutions strategy, thus, Spirent’s offerings complement Keysight’s existing portfolio. 

6G

The acquisition is expected to enable Keysight and Spirent to provide end-to-end solutions for customers across their life-cycle needs. Keysight sees Spirent joining 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. 

Keysight’s offer of $2.534 (201.5 pence) per share surpassed Viavi’s earlier bid of $2.201 (175 pence) per share. Keysight’s offer represents an 85.9% premium over Spirent’s closing price on March 4, exceeding Viavi’s 61.4% premium. Spirent, with over 1,500 employees and around 1,100 customers in over 50 countries, is expected to see headcount reductions of less than 5% across the combined group.

Spirent’s shares increased by 10.6% to $2.48 (198.0 pence) following the announcement. The company, which had initially agreed to a deal with Viavi, withdrew its support in favor of Keysight’s higher offer. Viavi Solution is an American network test, measurement and assurance technology company. Its current market capitalisation stands at $2.2 Bn, almost half of Keysights’ $4.65 Bn.

Keysight offers design, emulation, and test solutions to help engineers develop and deploy more quickly throughout the entire product life cycle. The company targets customers in communications, industrial automation, aerospace and defense, automotive, semiconductor, and general electronics markets.

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