Cisco Buys Neighbor Networker

The company will acquire privately held Sheer Networks for about $97 million.
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Cisco Systems

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signed an agreement to acquire privately held Sheer Networks, a developer of network and service management products, for about $97 million in cash and assumed options.

The acquisition price could be increased by as much as $25 million depending on the number of development and product milestones that are met after the purchase closes. Cisco expects to complete the acquisition in the first quarter of its 2006 fiscal year.

After the deal is completed, the Sheer Networks staff will be part of Cisco's network management technology group. Sheer was founded in 1999 and has 100 employees in Israel and in San Jose, Calif., where Cisco is based.

Shares of Cisco were up 10 cents to $18.95 in trading before the opening bell Tuesday.