Cisco in court after Acacia ends $2.8 bn merger deal

Cisco Systems on Friday sought a court order asking Acacia Communications to close the $2.84 billion deal, just over an hour after the optical component maker terminated the merger agreement.
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The swift response came after Acacia said the deal failed to obtain regulatory approval from China within the originally agreed time frame.

Cisco said it received the approval on Thursday and sought confirmation from the Delaware Court of Chancery that it has met all conditions for closing the deal.

The network gear maker had agreed to buy Acacia in cash in 2019, aiming to garner a bigger chunk of 5G spending by telecom companies.

The merger, initially expected to close in the second half of Cisco’s fiscal 2020, was cleared by the United States, Germany and Austria, but had been under regulatory review by China, the only remaining closing condition of the deal.

According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, global internet traffic is projected to more than triple to 13.2 exabytes per day in 2022 from 4.1 exabytes per day in 2017.

Revenue in Cisco’s infrastructure platform business, which includes switches and routers, rose 5 percent to $7.55 billion in its third quarter. That business is expected to get a boost from 5G communication networks, but Cisco executives have said they do not expect an impact until 2020.

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, who took the helm in July 2015, has made acquisitions a central part of his efforts to add muscle to the hardware giant’s newer growth areas such as the cloud, internet of things and cyber security.

The deal is Cisco’s biggest since its $3.7 billion purchase of business performance monitoring software company AppDynamics in 2017.

Acacia designs and manufactures high-speed, optical components and counts telecom service providers and data center operators as customers. Cisco is among its top 5 customers.