Wide area switching specialist Cascade Communications is to buy ATM supplier Sahara Networks for more than $200 million, increasing the pressure on rival Cisco.
Cascade is acquiring Sahara for 3.8 million shares of Cascade common stock. The transaction will be completed within three weeks.
The move will take Cascade deeper into customer locations, continuing the evolution of the company into a broad-based switch maker.
Sahara is Cascade's second major acquisition - it bought remote access specialist Arris Networks last April.
Brendan Hannigan, senior analyst at Forrester Research, said the deal is bad news for Cisco in the Internet market.
'Cisco is dominant in the networking business, but Cascade competes strongly with it when it comes to frame relay or IP switching,' he said. 'This acquisition will allow Cascade to bring legacy Lan traffic into its carrier networks so that it can offer end-to-end solutions.'
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