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Belkin buying Cisco’s home networking business Linksys

It looks like Cisco is jettisoning Linksys and the rest of its home networking business unit after all.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Previous reports of Cisco looking to sell its home router division have turned out to be true.

It was announced on Thursday afternoon that Belkin is planning to acquire Cisco's home networking business unit, which includes the Linksys brand.

While Belkin will also be grabbing some other products, resources, and employees from Cisco's home networking group, it maintained that the Linksys name will remain intact.

Belkin also promised to offer support for Linksys products, and guaranteed that valid warranties will be honored by Belkin for current and future Linksys products.

Hilton Romanski, vice president and head of corporate business development at Cisco, described the deal in a blog post as "a win-win relationship in the market."

Combined, Belkin and Linksys will create a world-class consumer networking technology provider with complementary innovation and engineering strategies. Linksys will enhance Belkin's capabilities to meet the needs of OEMs, as well as provide access to a large user base. Belkin and Cisco intend to pursue a strategic relationship focused on a variety of initiatives, including retail distribution, strategic marketing, and products for the service provider market.

Cisco originally purchased the home router company for $500 million in 2003.

After selling and killing off a few other consumer-focused units (such as the Flip camcorder), the San Jose, California-based networking giant appears to be dedicated to only business and enterprise products now.

The buyout is also expected to grow Belkin's reach considerably. After the transaction closes, Belkin asserted that it will account for approximately 30 percent of the U.S. retail home and small business networking market.

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but the merger is expected to be completed by March.

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