Juniper jumps on Pacific Broadband for $200

Fri, 11/30/2001 - 7:00pm

Advancing on a more aggressive cable network equipment strategy, Juniper Networks Inc. inked a deal to acquire start-up Pacific Broadband Communications in a stock deal valued at $200 million.

The deal, announced in mid-November and expected to close before the end of 2001, will give Juniper access to PBC's "Kodiak" line of cable modem termination systems, as well as the custom silicon and software to run them.

The agreement also marks the latest in the quickly consolidating "next-gen" CMTS sector, as start-ups continue to be gobbled up by bigger fish. Most recently, Motorola Inc. paid $300 million to acquire RiverDelta Networks Inc.

PBC's core CMTS technology is qualified for DOCSIS 1.0, and the company has submitted the Kodiak chassis to CableLabs for 1.0 qualification. Qualification for EuroDOCSIS and DOCSIS 1.1 also is on Juniper's roadmap for the Kodiak.

PBC makes its own CMTS silicon, a similar tactic that Terayon Communication Systems' Imedia Semiconductor is using to differentiate itself in a crowded next-gen CMTS marketplace.

Juniper President and CEO Scott Kriens said PBC's products would complement Juniper's portfolio and extend it beyond core IP and edge-network routing products.

PBC has yet to announce any deployments with MSOs, but the company expects to enter a number of cable operator trials this quarter.

Juniper's acquisition will not impact PBC's recently announced deal with Scientific-Atlanta Inc., company officials said. That agreement calls for S-A to be PBC's exclusive North American and non-exclusive international CMTS reseller partner, peddling the Kodiak under the "Prisma G10" brand. PBC and S-A are also collaborating on a CMTS line card dubbed the "Prisma IP." That work is expected to continue.

S-A Vice President of Network Architecture Paul Connolly said adding Juniper to the mix will help the companies "bring even more innovation" to cable operators.

Additionally, S-A's decision to acquire BarcoNet NV will complement the company's international efforts.

For Juniper, the deal gives it a stronger line into the cable sector, although the company does provide routing equipment to operators in China and France.

Juniper Vice President of Marketing Carl Showalter said he expects "most" of PBC's existing staff to join Juniper once the deal is completed. He added that PBC and Juniper are relatively collocated (PBC is based in San Jose and Juniper is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif.), and that PBC staffers will join a new Juniper product team. PBC has about 150 employees, 96 of them engineers.


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