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Cisco sells off Linksys to Belkin

Jennifer Scott

Belkin today announced it would buy the Linksys brand from networking giant Cisco.

Linksys was acquired by Cisco back in 2003 for $500m to give the firm a brand for selling routers and access points to homes and small businesses.

However, the network leader has continued to move away from the consumer and focused on its larger profit margin enterprise products and services, leaving Linksys looking more and more like a spare part.

Its new owner specialises in mobile accessories and home networking equipment, making it a good fit. Belkin has promised the Linksys brand will stay alive and it will honour any support contracts or warranties already purchased for the products.

“We’re very excited about this announcement,” said Chet Pipkin, CEO of Belkin. “Our two organisations share many core beliefs – we have similar beginnings and share a passion for meeting the real needs of our customers through the strengths of an entrepreneurial culture.

“Belkin’s ultimate goal is to be the global leader in the connected home and wireless networking space and this acquisition is an important step to realising that vision.”

The financial agreement between the two firms was not revealed. However Cisco and Belkin pledged to work together to “develop a strategic relationship on a variety of initiatives,” such as retail distribution, marketing and the service provider market.

A statement from the companies said: “Having access to Cisco’s specialised software solutions across all of Belkin’s product lines will bring a more seamless user experience for customers. Merging the innovation capabilities of Linksys and Belkin provides a powerful platform from which to develop the next generation of home networking technology.”

The deal is expected to close in March 2013.


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