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Crawley's Spirent Communications sells to US company VIAVI for £1bn

Crawley's Spirent Communications sells to US company VIAVI for £1bn

Based in West Sussex Spirent Communications It was acquired by a multinational technology company Viavi Solutions In a deal valued at approximately one billion pounds sterling.

Spirent provides automated testing, assurance and security solutions to networks and cybersecurity companies, addressing challenges associated with technologies such as 5G, cloud and autonomous vehicles.

With the acquisition of Crawley, VIAVI hopes to become a global leader in testing solutions for R&D laboratories, service providers, data centers and mission-critical infrastructure.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2024 pending approval by Spirent shareholders, each of whom will receive a total acquisition value of $175 per share.

Read the March 2024 issue of The Business, including our report on skills

Spirent's directors have already signed irrevocable agreements to support the acquisition.

Sir Bill Thomas, Chairman of Spirent, said: “This offering provides a significant opportunity for Spirent’s employees, customers and other stakeholders through a highly strategic and highly complementary combination.

“With our strong management team, global scale and cultural alignment across our businesses, we are confident that at VIAVI we have found the right owner to take Spirent to the next stage of its growth story.”

Founded in 1936 as Goodliffe Electric Supply, Spirent has approximately 1,500 employees and is headquartered in Crowley and base of operations in San Jose, California.

It achieved annual revenues of £370 million last year.

CEO Eric Updike said: “The combination with VIAVI brings together a highly integrated product offering that is marketable globally.

“It will enable Spirent to build on the strategic progress we have made to date, with a partner that has the scale and resources to capitalize on the long-term growth opportunities ahead.

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See this acquisition along with other deals across the region on our deals ticket

“The combination of VIAVI and Spirent creates a stronger business that will be more competitive, and we are confident in the opportunities this will create for our stakeholders.”

VIAVI has secured $800 million from Wells Fargo Bank to finance the acquisition, along with a $400 million investment from US private equity firm Silver Lake.

Oleg Kaikin, President and CEO of VIAVI, added: “We are proud to help enable its global customers to pursue innovation across the broad range of industries we serve.

“The combination of our leading communications test and measurement and optical technologies and Spirent's high-performance test and assurance solutions is expected to deliver enhanced product solutions and applications, accelerate growth in new markets and foster innovation through expanded engineering and design capabilities.”

“Furthermore, we are uniting two teams with a shared passion for developing compelling, cutting-edge customer offerings and a commitment to technology excellence.”

Linklaters advised Spirent on the takeover bid. The team was led by corporate partners Matthew Hearn and James Inglis, firm managing partner Thomas Bishop, employment and incentives partner Alexandra Bidas, and antitrust and foreign investment partner Neil Houlihan.

Spirent also sought financial advice from Rothschild & Co and was backed by corporate brokers UBS and Jefferies.

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