Light Reading
11:00 AM The $2.35B deal for Motorola's Home business would remove Arris from the shadows of Cisco and cement Bob Stanzione's legacy

Arris Swings for the Fences

Jeff Baumgartner
The Bauminator
Jeff Baumgartner
12/20/2012
50%
50%

11:00 AM -- I was not surprised that Arris Group Inc. emerged as the top bidder for Motorola Home, but I was shocked to learn that it put up $2.35 billion in cash and stock -- near the top of the $1.5 billion-to-$2.5 billion range that Google was expected to fetch for the maker of set-tops, video software and access gear.

After all, this is the same Arris that took its toys and went home when Ericsson AB upped the ante for Tandberg Television. This is the same Arris that paid $60 million for a cable modem termination system (CMTS) startup called Cadant Inc. in 2002, when, just two years earlier, ADC set the market by acquiring a similar startup, Broadband Access Systems, in a stock deal valued at a nutty $2.25 billion at the time. Arris nabbed video processing startup EGT Inc. for a song in 2009. It timed its purchase of BigBand Networks Inc. when the switched digital video (SDV) specialist was scuffling.

So, there's ample evidence that paying top dollar is not the Arris way. It's been known as a careful but shrewd deal-maker, content on taking walks, hitting singles and scoring the occasional double. This week it grabbed Wonderboy off the rack and took a glorious swing for the bleachers.

Arris Chairman and CEO Bob Stanzione didn't let this once-in-a-career, future-altering opportunity pass him by. He unblinkingly went all out to a strike a deal that's not only poised to remove Arris from the long shadows of Cisco Systems Inc. and give it a legitimate shot at becoming a global broadband and video powerhouse, but also to cement Stanzione's legacy.

But we don't know yet how that legacy will play out. The challenges ahead are not anywhere near as small as the deal is large for Arris.

Arris has acquired plenty of companies over the years, but nothing like this. It's now tasked with swallowing one that's more than twice its size, while also taking on nearly $2 billion in loans.

And, despite the talk about "synergies" between the two companies, there are some significant product overlaps that Arris will have to sort through. On Wednesday night's call, Stanzione stressed that Arris doesn't plan to exit any businesses. But it would seem likely that Arris will have to think about selling off the redundant pieces or pitching them altogether. It simply can't swallow Motorola Home whole.

There's going to be an unavoidable shakeout that will involve both people and products. That planning process, Stanzione said, gets under way this morning.

And, if Arris can execute the integration properly, there are good things that could come of the deal. Arris, for example, thinks it can achieve $100 million to $125 million in annual cost synergies.

And it could address one of Arris's historic shortcomings -- its reliance on Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc., which accounted for about 50 percent of sales in the most recent quarter. If just one of them sneezes, Arris catches pneumonia, as the saying goes.

That vulnerability shrinks significantly with Motorola Home. Comcast and TW Cable are also the two largest customers of Motorola Home. But, together, Arris and Motorola Home will enjoy a much more diverse customer base that includes a better mix of cable operators and telco customers, with their top five combined customers representing 51 percent of revenues.

Like any acquisition, this one comes with the potential for risks and rewards, amplified by the relative size of Arris's latest prize. Stanzione and Co. did what it took to get the deal. Ahead comes the hard part -- making it work.

For more



— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from The Bauminator
Don't expect anything more to pop for a while, but one analyst sees John Malone & Co. as the 'logical, ultimate acquirer of Ziggo' if the price is right
Cable operators will need to free up at least 24MHz of spectrum for Docsis 3.1. But why is that the magic number?
Liberty Media's rumored plan to snag a 25% stake in Charter for $2.5B could aid the MSO's M&A strategy
Top US cable operators lost 1.41 million video subs in 2012, but the bleeding continues to show signs of slowing in a saturated pay-TV market
Aereo streams its 'no cable required' tagline into the video world. Will consumers tune in to the message?
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
From 4G to 5G: Alcatel-Lucent's Dave Geary

11|25|14   |   09:09   |   (1) comment


Dave Geary, President of Wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, talks about the evolution of the 4G market, small cells, partnerships, 5G and the IoT.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Secure Telefonica Network With Huawei's High-End Firewall

11|24|14   |   4:37   |   (0) comments


Andrew Davies, IP architect of the Telefonica, a leading digital communications company, discusses the Huawei security gateway solution and putting the solution into the testbed.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partners with Spirent to Verify CE12816's 10GE Port & TRILL Networking Capabilities

11|24|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Spirent Communications is the world's leading supplier for telecom testing appliances and solutions. Spirent has been in a close partnership with Huawei for a long time.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Airlines & Its ICT Transformation

11|24|14   |   2:07   |   (0) comments


In this video, Saudi Airlines discusses its network problems and how Huawei's Agile Network is its all-in-one solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Agile Switch Benefiting Saudi Arabia's Yamamah Hospital

11|24|14   |   2:40   |   (0) comments


Saudi Arabia's Yamamah Hospital speaks about how Huawei's Agile Switch has improved the medical service's network infrastructure.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FanPlay & Huawei Build a Wireless Agile Smart Stadium

11|24|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


FanPlay is a cloud-based white label service, which is effectively a football fan engagement platform underpinned by mobile payment technology.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building an Agile Stadium

11|24|14   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Stadiums may be thousands of tons of concrete and steel, but they now need to be agile. Being at the stadium may not be as alluring as it once was. Sports franchises and stadium operators discuss how to get fans back.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Helps ChinaCache Tackle Challenges in the Internet Industry

11|24|14   |   3:09   |   (0) comments


ChinaCache is China's largest content distribution network supplier. Huawei's CE12800 has provided ChinaCache with very strong support in its establishment of an infrastructure network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Cefinity on Managed Security Services & Next-Generation Firewall

11|24|14   |   7:05   |   (0) comments


Cefinity is a cloud management service provider in Southeast Asia. Ivan Zhang, CEO of the company, discusses the implementation of security service management in the cloud era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Agile Gateway in the Eyes of Cefinity

11|24|14   |   2:11   |   (0) comments


Cefinity is a managed service provider for enterprise networks. The company currently uses Huawei's AR series routers for the most complete range of functions. CEO Ivan Zhang speaks about the advantages of the AR series routers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
CTO of Bus-Online Talks About Huawei's Agile Gateway

11|24|14   |   2:53   |   (0) comments


Bus-Online covers around 100 million users everyday. In addition to providing mobile TV, and advertising services to the public, Bus-Online has also entered the field of mobile Internet.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Amsterdam ArenA as an Agile Campus

11|24|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Amsterdam ArenA, home of the Ajax soccer team, can be a crowded space. ArenA has partnered with Huawei to work on bringing ample bandwidth to 53,000 people at the same time.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
$38.3M: Ain't That a Kik in the SMS
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/20/2014
Do You Have a 2020 Vision?
Dennis Mendyk, Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading, 11/21/2014
Net Neutrality Even Mark Cuban Could Love
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/26/2014
$35B+ Spectrum Auction Dings Verizon, Shines Dish
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/24/2014
Operators Should Block Ads to Get Their Cut, Startup Says
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/24/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed