The U.S. networking company Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) acquired the U.K. hardware company Ubiquisys in one of the Europe’s biggest tech exits of the past several years.
The Swindon, England-based company was sold to Cisco for $310 million with the amount to be paid partly in cash and partly in staff retention incentives. According to the agreement, Cisco will retain the full 130 member of Ubiquisys and the staff will continue to work in the U.K.
The U.S.-based company said that the offerings from Ubiquisys will be presented along with the deals that Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) provides to its users. The combinations of the offerings from both companies will help to take the services one notch higher and will add an “intelligent layer” to the network, Cisco said.
Ubiquisys, founded in 2005 produces small cells, which are also known as femtocells. Such cells are small phone masts that shore up data the capacity in mobile networks, and they can also be used for creating strong wifi hotspots in offices or public places. The masts can easily be fitted in a garage or a pub due to their small size and are capable enough to support 3G coverage in crowded areas.
Apart from making small cells, the England based firm also provides complementary services to go along the cell like cloud and networking capabilities.
The hardware company is all set to play a much larger role with the advent of 4G or LTE mobile networks. The tiny cells, which up till now have been used in boosting the network, will now play a vital role in its infrastructure.
The use of small cells helps the consumers to use their spectrum more efficiently. Ubiquisys’s chief financial officer, Fraser Park told The Wall Street Journal in August “When people install a femtocell, customer satisfaction jumps by 94 percent.”
Mike Chalfen, of London-based Advent Venture Partners, who is also an investor in Ubiquisys said that the premium paid for the company reflects the importance of mobile data. The investor said, “Mobile networks are growing to a massive extent and small cells are one of the most cost effective ways of raising capacity.”
The deal highlights the other similar impressive opportunities available in Europe, Mr. Chalfen added.
Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) has been working towards building the infrastructure for mobile data, the demand for which has been on the rise. The networking company, in January this year, acquired another small cell manufacturer, Israeli startup Intucell, for $475 million.