Spirent announces £1.1bn acquisition

FTSE100-listed UK telecoms testing company Spirent is to acquire Hekimian Laboratories, a US-based systems and service provider, in a £1.1bn cash and shares deal.

FTSE100-listed UK telecoms testing company Spirent is to acquire Hekimian Laboratories, a US-based systems and service provider, in a £1.1bn cash and shares deal.

Spirent, new to the FTSE100 index in September this year, will pay £500m in cash and the rest in shares. Hekimian, established in 1968, is a major manufacturer of network management tools and claims to provide monitoring of over 10 million circuits globally. In the first eight months of 2000, profits were $36.3m on turnover of $129.4m. Their best known product is React 2001, a network support tool for testing network components from a co-location. Much of the company's recent development has been in DSL technology, offering greater bandwidth over existing copper lines. This is an area Spirent has said it wishes to develop and has committed £43m to do so. Earlier this week Spirent announced it had completed the purchase of two other US companies - Zarak and Net-HOPPER - in related areas of communications and testing. Spirent also make products connected to air safety and remote sensing. Growth in all divisions is expected to be 10 to 15 per cent this year. Formerly known as Bowthorpe, Spirent's turnover in the six months to June 2000 was £316m, with profits of £32.7. Company chief executive Nick Brookes joined the company in 1966 from TI and is named by the Financial Times today as the eleventh highest earner in the sector with a pay package of £677,000 in the year ending December 1999. By Geoffrey Davies