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Mergers & acquisitions

NextHop Leaps on Legra

Routing software firm NextHop Technologies Inc. has officially confirmed that it has bought some of defunct 802.11 switch firm Legra Systems Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

Unstrung reported last week that NextHop had acquired at least part of Legra's intellectual assets (see Exit Legra, Stage Right). "We have have bought some -- but not all -- of Legra's IP," Denis Tsu, VP of marketing at NextHop told us on Tuesday.

Apparently some other -- as yet unnamed -- vendors have also carved themselves a piece of the startup's carcass. "I believe there will be some announcements in the next week," offers Tsu.

Wireless LAN access point startup Colubris Networks Inc. has previously been named by sources as a possible buyer, but has so far denied that it wants any piece of Legra.

NextHop isn't yet saying which Legra assets it bought, but most people that Unstrung have spoken to assume that since the firm deals in routing software, it would be interested in Legra's wireless routing code.

"It does kind of suggest that," allows Tsu.

In more general terms, Tsu suggests that it makes sense for a company like his to start offering software that allows wired routing vendors to incorporate wireless capabilities into their platforms.

The networking industry, he notes, has always seen "classic pendulum swings" between startups getting out ahead of the pack and pioneering a new networking technology in standalone hardware, which, in time, gets incorporated as a software component in a larger networking box.

Tsu says the first products from NextHop using Legra IP will be announced in the first quarter of 2005.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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