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Data Center Interconnect

What Juniper Paid for BTI

When Juniper announced the acquisition of packet-optical metro systems vendor BTI Systems in late January, there was a lot of speculation about the price paid: In the first 48 hours alone, Light Reading heard suggestions ranging from $30 million to $400 million. (See Juniper Flies Into DCI With BTI Acquisition and Juniper: Packet-Optical Convergence Driving BTI Acquisition.)

The dust quickly settled, though, and sources close to the vendor, which has made a name for itself in recent years in the growing data center interconnect (DCI) market, suggested the number was close to $50 million. (See Did Juniper Pay 'Peanuts' for BTI?)

Well, $50 million was close, but it was actually a little more than that. Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) had said it would provide more information during the second quarter, but while much of the industry was heading to Barcelona to wallow in 5G and tapas at Mobile World Congress towards the end of last month, Juniper issued its annual report and, on page 115, revealed this nugget of information:

    In January 2016, the Company entered into a definitive agreement to acquire BTI Systems Inc., a provider of cloud and metro optical networking systems and software to content, cloud and service providers, for (i) approximately $65.0 million in cash (inclusive of debt) plus cash on hand at closing and (ii) the assumption of restricted stock units outstanding at closing. The Company believes that this acquisition will allow the Company to accelerate the delivery of open and automated packet optical transport solutions with integrated network management based on BTI Systems' proNX Service Manager and Juniper's Connectivity Services Director, as well as NorthStar Controller. The Company believes that, together, these products provide a unified management interface for multi-layer provisioning of end-to-end services across IP and optical networks. The consummation of this acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions.

No doubt there will be further details to share once the deal closes, but the price -- roughly equivalent to the amount of money BTI raised between 2011 and 2015 -- makes for an interesting benchmark as the DCI market heats up.

And, just possibly, BTI's investors will be thankful that the deal was struck before Microsoft and Inphi announced their alternative approach to DCI over sub-80km distances. (See Microsoft Drops a Data Center Interconnect Bombshell and Inphi Debuts Data Center Interconnect Gamechanger.)

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

upand2theright 4/14/2016 | 12:02:18 PM
50+ percent of BTI employees got chopped Rocky start.  Juniper dropped the ax pretty quickly on some BTI employees in April. But the remainder of the Ottawa team may get scooped up by Cisco, leaving Juniper with not much to show for its $65M.   What triggered this snafu?  In a questionable move, some Juniper folks tried to pressure some BTI engineers to reveal some inside Cisco product information. Cisco is a former BTI GTM partner.   Cisco got wind of it  ... you can guess the rest of story.
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