In a Monday joint statement, Keysight anticipated the deal would close by October's end and that the transaction would be immediately accretive to earnings. The Santa Rosa, Calif., electronic measurement company added that it already has entered into voting agreements with shareholders that own 23% of Ixia's outstanding stock to support the deal.
The transaction values Ixia at $19.65 per share, representing a 45% premium to its Dec. 1 closing price, the day before media reports surfaced that Ixia was considering strategic alternatives.
Shares of Ixia were up 6.7% to $19.42 on Monday morning, while Keysight stock was slightly lower, off 26 cents, or 0.7%, to $36.75.
Representatives from Keysight declined to comment, while Ixia representatives didn't immediately return requests for comment.
Keysight said the acquisition will expand its software-centric business while helping it better meet the demands of changing network environments. Ixia also will provide access to "previously untapped" network equipment manufacturers, particularly those based in Asia, Keysight said during a conference call discussing the transaction.
"Together, we will provide leading-edge solutions that address the fastest-growing communications and networking trends, including 5G, internet of things, visibility, security and application performance," Keysight CEO Ron Nersesian said in Monday's statement.
The companies did not address any changes to their management and corporate governance following the transaction. Bethany Mayer is Ixia's president and CEO.
A Reuters report in December had speculated the companies were exploring a tie-up and that Ixia was fielding takeover offers from several bidders.
Founded in 1997, Ixia provides testing, visibility and security solutions for physical and virtual networks for enterprises, service providers and network equipment manufacturers. The Calabasas, Calif., company has been steadily beefing up its network testing technology capabilities through a series of recent deals, notably acquiring network monitoring company Net Optics in 2013 for $190 million.
Ixia also completed a pair of deals in 2012, purchasing Anue Systems for $155 million and BreakingPoint Systems for $160 million. Both Anue and BreakingPoint create network security systems.
Ixia posted $3.61 million in net income on $356.7 million in revenue for the nine months ended Sept. 30, up from $200,000 in income on $378.5 million in revenue over the same period in 2015.
Keysight was spun off from bioanalytical solutions company Agilent Technologies (A) in 2014. Keysight purchased UK-based Anite, which tests handsets and telecom networks, for $607 million in 2015 as part of its efforts to provide a more comprehensive slate of network testing solutions.
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