Oracle has entered into an agreement to acquire Acme Packet, a global provider of session border control technology, for $29.25 per share or approximately $1,7-billion, net of Acme Packet’s cash.
Acme Packet enables the trusted, first-class delivery of next-generation voice, data and unified communications services and applications across IP networks. The company’s solutions are deployed by more than 1 900 service providers and enterprises globally, including 89 of the world’s top 100 communications companies.
“The proposed acquisition of Acme Packet is another important piece in Oracle’s overall strategy to deliver integrated best-in-class products that address critical customer requirements in key industries,” says Oracle president Mark Hurd.
“The addition of Acme Packet to Oracle’s leading communications portfolio will enable service providers and enterprises to deliver innovative solutions that will change the way we interact, conduct commerce, deliver healthcare, secure our homes, and much more.”
The combination of Oracle and Acme Packet is expected to accelerate the migration to all-IP networks by enabling secure and reliable communications from any device, across any network.
Users are increasingly connected and expect to communicate anytime and anywhere using their application, device, and network of choice. Oracle Communications along with Acme Packet can help service providers and enterprises meet these demanding requirements by delivering an end-to-end portfolio of technologies that will support the deployment, innovation and monetisation of all-IP networks.
The board of Acme Packet has unanimously approved the transaction. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2013, subject to Acme Packet stockholder approval, certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
“The communications industry is undergoing a dramatic shift as users become more connected and dependent on mobile applications and devices. Service providers and enterprises need a comprehensive communications solution that will enable them to more effectively engage with their customers,” says Bhaskar Gorti, senior vice-president and GM of Oracle Communications. “This combination will enable secure and reliable delivery of real-time interactive communications through the most comprehensive, best-in-class communications portfolio in the industry.”
“Acme Packet brings deep domain expertise and proven, mission-critical solutions to enable all-IP networks,” says Andy Ory, CEO of Acme Packet. “Together with Oracle, we expect to provide customers with purpose-built, innovative solutions to accelerate the deployment of all-IP networks and help deliver a consistent experience across all services, devices and networks.”
Dana Cooperson, principal analyst of Ovum, believes the acquisition should strengthen Oracle’s hand both with enterprises and carriers by giving it a more central role in controlling and improving how devices and subscribers interact and communicate.
“Oracle’s move to acquire Acme Packets illustrates several very important on-going trends in global communications:
“IT and telecoms are rapidly blending: telecom and IT are coming together in ways that are shifting the vendor competitive framework significantly. IT-focused companies like Oracle see a real opportunity to strengthen their position in both markets through extending their product lines and are acting aggressively.
“Companies that specialise in either telecom or IT will need a strategy of how they will benefit from this blending of what were two largely separate domains.
“Any vendor that wants to be a full-service partner to the telcos and other large communications and content providers will need such a blended strategy to be credible. Specialists will need to align with full-service partners.
“Software is increasingly driving network capabilities: although hardware is still important in many applications to provide needed performance, software is more and more critical for both differentiating and monetising network capabilities. Performance without monetisation is only half the equation.
“Communications needs are anytime, anywhere: people want to be connected, at work or at play, through a variety of devices and access means. Controlling these sessions securely and at the needed quality is increasingly critical.”
“Oracle Communications has a value proposition that encompasses telcos, enterprises, and other ICT (information and communications technology) infrastructure vendors,” says Cooperson adds.
“In fact, Oracle both sells to and competes with telecom infrastructure vendors. But unlike many of these companies, Oracle has a comparatively large bucket of cash to use for acquisitions – as a communications infrastructure vendor bested only by Cisco. Oracle and Cisco can both afford to be aggressive with M&A whereas many of their peers cannot. Expect the buying spree to continue.”