Networking giant Cisco has announced plans to pay out $1.9 billion to acquire Broadsoft, a Maryland-based cloud communications company that creates software for PBX systems, team collaboration, and other related enterprise products.
Though Cisco is better known for its data center and networking hardware, the company has long intimated its intentions to transition into a software company. For example, a few months back it bought hyperconvergence software company Springpath for $320 million, shortly after snapping up app performance management company AppDynamics for $3.7 billion. And last year Cisco bought Internet of Things cloud service Jasper for $1.4 billion.
This latest acquisition fits into Cisco’s broader push away from its legacy hardware business, with plans afoot to “deliver a robust suite of collaboration capabilities across every market segment,” according to Rowan Trollope, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s applications business group. In real terms, this will mean combining Broadsoft’s cloud voice and contact center software with Cisco’s hardware, meetings, and services products.
“We believe that our combined offers, from Cisco’s collaboration technology for enterprises to BroadSoft’s suite for small and medium businesses delivered through service providers, will give customers more choice and flexibility,” added Trollope.
Founded in 1998, Broadsoft went public on the Nasdaq back in 2010, pricing its IPO at around $9 per share. After an initial dip, Broadsoft’s shares have pretty much traded at way more than its IPO price since 2011, and over the past year its stock value has generally sat at over $40.
Cisco’s offer works out to around $55 per share, which represents a premium of around two percent on Broadsoft’s previous closing price. Cisco said that it expects the deal to close in Q1 2018.