Nokia Snags Provider of Small Office Security Appliances

Nokia Corp. Thursday moved to acquire Ramp Networks, a provider of purpose built Internet security appliances aimed at small office applications.

Nokia agreed to commence a cash tender offer within 10 business days for all outstanding Ramp Networks shares at $5.80 per share, putting the cash outlay at an estimated $125.8 million.

Ramp Networks’ board unanimously approved the agreement, which is subject to 51 percent of the company’s shares being tendered and not withdrawn, termination of the antitrust waiting periods in the U.S., and other customary closing conditions. Nokia said holders of about 36 percent of Ramp Networks’ shares have agreed to tender their shares into the Nokia tender offer. Nokia expects the transaction to close in first quarter 2001.

Nokia said the acquisition will allow it to expand its portfolio of network security solutions, adding the small office sector to its existing markets for medium and large enterprises.

“The increasing use of the Internet, and the ever increasing risk of network security threats has heightened the need for IP security solutions for all businesses,” said T. Kent Elliott, senior vice president and general manager, Nokia Internet Communications. “Ramp Networks’ core competencies in embedded systems specifically designed to address the security needs of the small business will be an excellent complement to our current network security portfolio for our channel partners already serving the medium and large enterprise sector.”

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