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Security Platforms/Tools

Ixia Splashes $160M on Security Firm

Test equipment vendor Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA) is to acquire security testing specialist BreakingPoint Systems for US$160 million in cash, with the deal set to be completed during the next three months.

The move will give Ixia a broader set of test tools with which it can target network and data center operators, as BreakingPoint's expertise is in identifying security threats and assessing the capabilities of networks to resist attacks.

BreakingPoint generated revenues of $33.5 million in 2011 and is expected to achieve sales of more than $47 million this year. Ixia expects BreakingPoint to contribute to its profits (before one-time costs) in the first full quarter of business once the acquisition is completed.

The security test systems firm counts network operators such as KT Corp. (Korea Telecom), infrastructure vendors such as Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), enterprises and government agencies among its customers. (See BreakingPoint Stresses Juniper Gateway and BreakingPoint Updates Firewall Test.)

Among its more recent developments is a mobility testing system for LTE operators that, the company claims, is capable of "generating city-scale application and attack traffic over mobile infrastructure, from the handset and tower and through the backhaul Evolved Packet Core." BreakingPoint showed off that application at the 4G World trade show in Chicago last October.

Why this matters
Testing the security capabilities of fixed-line and wireless networks is becoming even more important as the number of potential threats grows and as service providers start to roll out LTE and cloud-based services. Ixia will gain additional security know-how, customers and profitable revenues from the acquisition, making it a positive, and affordable, move for the company, which only recently acquired network monitoring expert Anue Systems.

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— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

digits 12/5/2012 | 5:28:47 PM
re: Ixia Splashes $160M on Security Firm

Could some investors be a bit nervous about a $160m cash outlay so soon after the $145M for Anue? Ixia's stock is down 1.6% Monday, though to be fair the markets in general are a bit shaky due to macro economics. 

digits 12/5/2012 | 5:28:41 PM
re: Ixia Splashes $160M on Security Firm

ixia's share price ended Monday up nearly 3 percent at $12.37, so any early nerves were calmed.

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