Oracle to buy telecoms gear maker Acme Packet for about $2.1B, deepening appeal to telcos

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. – Oracle will Acme Packet Inc., which makes equipment for telecommunications companies, for about $2.1 billion.

Acme’s gear is used by more than 1,900 service providers and enterprises around the world. Its technology will complement Oracle’s offerings for telecoms providers, said Citigroup analyst Walter Pritchard.

Oracle, a database software maker based in Redwood City, Calif., will pay $29.25 per share for Acme. That represents a 22 per cent premium over the Bedford, Mass., company’s Friday closing stock price. The companies valued the deal at $1.7 billion, net of Acme’s cash.

Shares of Acme soared 22 per cent, or $5.35, to $29.28 in morning trading. Shares of Oracle Corp. lost 62 cents, or 1.7 per cent to $35.58.

Acme’s board unanimously approved the acquisition, which is expected to close in the first half of 2013. The deal remains subject to Acme shareholder and regulatory approval.

Brian White at Topeka Capital Markets said that the deal might herald more acquisitions of communications gear makers by companies like IBM Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Inc. Targets could include Juniper Networks Inc. and F5 Networks Inc., he said. Shares of those companies were up just over 1 per cent on a down day for the overall market.