Network gear maker Riverbed to buy software firm Opnet for $1bn

The network gear maker Riverbed will acquire network performance software firm Opnet for $43 a share, or about $1 billion.

Riverbed will acquire Opnet for about $1 billion in a bid to get ahead of its rivals that continue to suffer as a result of weak technology spending, according to the Reuters news agency.

The network gear maker will buy Opnet, a maker of network management software, for $43 a share in cash and stock -- representing about $1 billion -- a premium of about one-third on Opnet's closing price on Friday.

Riverbed said the deal will help "to extend its network performance management business into the multi-billion dollar application performance management market," according to a statement. Opnet will be combined with Riverbed's Cascade business unit.

Last week, Riverbed announced it  would give an all-boost to its Cascade family  of network performance management systems for small-medium sized business up to the enterprise.

The cash segment of the offer will run through Riverbed's existing cash on hand and new debt. The deal is expected to go ahead by the end of the calendar year.

Riverbed closed at $22 a share on Friday's market close. (The New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq are not open today due to Hurricane Sandy.) The firm's market cap stood at $3.49 billion. Meanwhile, Opnet closed at $32 a share on Friday with its market cap standing at $741.4 million.

Riverbed, currently a leader in its field, has fared well against its competitors, including Juniper Networks and F5 Networks, who have both cut spending and have delayed orders to partners.

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