Testing times as Keysight shells out $1.6 billion for Ixia

The testing and measurement industry is set to undergo further consolidation with Keysight adding Ixia to its M&A crusade for $1.6 billion in cash.

Keysight, which was spun out of Agilent in 2014, makes all kinds of electronics testing gear, while Ixia focuses specifically on the telecoms side of things (one of its past acquisitions having been the N2X product line from Agilent back in 2009). Among the usual talk of synergies and end-to-end solutions Keysight seems to be saying a stronger telecoms offering will make it a better business.

“The proposed acquisition of Ixia is in direct alignment with our strategy to transform Keysight for growth and is 100 percent complementary to our business,” said Ron Nersesian, Keysight boss. “The combination creates a powerful innovation engine to fuel growth, expands our software-centric solutions and builds new opportunities through sales and technology leverage. Ixia also brings a world-class level of talent, and together, we will provide leading-edge solutions that address the fastest-growing communications and networking trends including 5G, IoT, visibility, security and application performance.”

Ixia said much the same.

Keysight has been busy on the M&A front, having acquired UK wireless testing outful Anite back in 2015, so telecoms is clearly a strategic focus. Light Reading reports competitors Viavi and Exfo were also interested an Ixia and having been beaten to the punch once more by their larger competitor must be alarming for them. Viavi’s share price was 5% down at time of writing while Keysight’s was flat.

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