Feb 21 Set-top box maker Arris International Plc
is nearing a deal to acquire Brocade Communications
Systems Inc's networking equipment business for roughly
$1 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
An acquisition of the Brocade unit, which makes equipment
that boost high-speed internet service for consumers and
businesses, would add a suite of products to Arris' portfolio
that can serve areas with high demand for bandwidth, such as
universities and airports.
The deal could be announced as early as Wednesday, the
sources said, cautioning there was always a chance for the
negotiations to end without a deal. The sources asked not to be
identified because the discussions were confidential.
Arris and Brocade, which is set to be acquired by chipmaker
Broadcom Ltd in a $5.5 billion deal that is pending
regulatory approval, declined to comment.
The divestiture of Brocade's networking unit, if completed,
would be the first sale of assets that Broadcom is aiming to
complete, and likely the most valuable, the sources said.
Broadcom has said that it plans to sell Brocade's networking
business to avoid competing with its top customers such as Cisco
Broadcom declined to comment.
Most of the unit, known as the "network edge" business, was
obtained by Brocade as part of its $1.5 billion acquisition of
Ruckus Wireless last year.
Reuters reported last month that Suwanee, Georgia-based
company Arris was one of the bidders for the unit.
Arris, which has a market capitalization of $5.6 billion,
makes electronics such as modems and set-top boxes used by cable
and satellite companies. It closed a deal last year to buy
British rival Pace Plc for $2.1 billion, and incorporated itself
in Britain in a deal structured as a corporate tax inversion.
(Reporting by Liana B. Baker in New York; Editing by Himani