The deal, expected to close by the end of October, would have Keysight paying $19.65 per share for Ixia, a 45 percent premium over Ixia’s Dec. 1 price. (Ixia stock climbed significantly after that day as acquisition rumors spread.)
Even so, the price is roughly a 7 percent premium over Ixia’s $18.20 closing yesterday. Ixia stock climbed to $19.45 in today’s trading.
Founded in 1997, Ixia focuses on IP networking and thus fills a portfolio gap for Keysight, which sells test equipment related to electronics in general. Keysight’s heritage goes back to the original Hewlett-Packard Co., which spun off Agilent in 1999. Keysight’s products include modern descendants of original HP specialties such as oscilloscopes.
Ixia CEO Bethany Mayer happens to come from HP. Before the company split into two pieces, Mayer was heading its network functions virtualization (NFV) efforts. Ixia announced her hiring in August 2014.