Cisco is looking to sell off its Linksys consumer router brand, reports over the weekend claimed.
According to a Bloomberg article, the networking goliath has appointed Barclays to find a buyer for the business, which is expected to fetch much less than the $500m Cisco paid for it in 2003.
Cisco chief executive John Chambers had made no secret of his desire to tighten Cisco's focus on what it does best, last year exiting several markets and selling off its Flip video-camera unit after a downturn in its results.
Clive Longbottom, services director at analyst Quocirca, said the move was not unexpected and could also have implications for Cisco's other consumer arms, such as set-top-box maker Scientific Atlanta.
"Cisco has been distancing itself from SMB," he said. "They want to be in the enterprise only, so it would not surprise me if Linksys was put out to pasture.
"If they do get rid of Linksys, this rather does leave Scientific Atlanta out on a limb as there is nothing else out there to hook through to it. I would have thought it could be bought by one of the cable operators."
Citing sources with knowledge of the situation, the Bloomberg story said Linksys may attract TV set makers looking for a recognised brand and technology.
Steve Niven, non-executive director at Cisco partner Networks First, welcomed the news.
"We see Cisco as being much more interested in growing its services business, so getting out of low-margin hardware sales makes sense," he said.
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