Test & Measurement

Ixia Splashes $44M on Agilent Unit

Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA) prepared to extend its lead in network testing yesterday, announcing a deal to acquire the N2X product line from Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) for $44 million cash.

The acquisition, announced after the stock market closed Wednesday, is set to close Oct. 30 and will involve the transfer of 200 Agilent employees to Ixia. (See Ixia Buys Agilent's N2X Line for $44M.)

According to Ixia CEO Atul Bhatnagar, his company already led the market in network testing, the gear that simulates networks at Layer 2 and Layer 3. Spirent Communications plc typically placed second, with Agilent in third.

Ixia typically sells its gear to equipment vendors, while Agilent sold its N2X technology to service providers, including some real heavy-hitters, Bhatnagar says.

Ixia would inherit those relationships, giving it an expanded customer base. Bhatnagar is hoping the deal will also give Ixia a chance to sell its other equipment to those service providers. "Now we can upsell to this very Ivy League customer base," he tells Light Reading.

Ixia has about 950 employees, not counting the pending acquisition. The additions would make Bangalore, India, the second largest site in Ixia's empire; Ixia would also pick up Agilent employees in Canada and Australia.

Ixia also announced that it expects its revenues for the third quarter to be approximately $46.4 million, at the high end of its previous guidance of $42 million to $47 million. The company is set to publish its full third-quarter earnings announcment on October 28.

The company's share price closed Wednesday at $8.04.

The move marks Ixia's second acquisition in five months: In May it announced the $63 million purchase of mobile radio access network (RAN) test specialist Catapult Communications Corp. (See Ixia Buys RAN Test Specialist and Ixia Completes Catapult Acquisition.)

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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