Cloud communications solutions vendor Ribbon Communications is set to build out its data applications and optical networking offering after striking a deal worth more than US$400 million to acquire ECI Telecoms Group.
The acquisition, which is set to be accomplished via a merger arrangement, will see Ribbon and ECI create a solutions provider with anticipated combined annual revenue of over US$900 million, serving customers in more than 140 countries, and comprising 4,000 employees worldwide.
ECI Telecom Group is a global provider of end-to-end packet-optical transport and software defined network (SDN) and network functions virtualisation (NFV) solutions for service providers, enterprises, and data center operators.
Ribbon expects the combination of the two companies to help position its business for growth and expand its product portfolio beyond solutions primarily supporting voice applications to include data applications and optical networking.
“The ECI acquisition will extend Ribbon’s reach into the networking market and propel us into the global 5G market,” said Ribbon CFO Daryl Raiford. “ECI brings world class networking technology and a proven track record of success in winning top customers in direct competition with major industry players.
“We believe this combination will create new revenue opportunities to drive growth, provide our customers and partners with a broader solutions portfolio, and generate significant long-term value for our stockholders.
For Darryl Edwards, president and CEO of ECI, the aim of the agreement is to create a “powerhouse company that offers world-class products for an enhanced customer experience, benefiting our combined global customer base”.
The move comes amid the departure of Ribbon Communications’ president and CEO, Franklin (Fritz) W. Hobbs.
“Fritz has served our company well over the last two years,” said Ribbon chairman Dick Lynch. “He stepped up when we needed to integrate Sonus and GENBAND, very successfully completing the integration in all respects, delivering more than all of the planned synergies and dramatically improving the company’s profitability.
“Additionally, he has been focused on strategic opportunities, culminating in the transformational merger with ECI Telecom Group Ltd that we announced today.”
Sonus Networks re-emerged from the completion of its merger with GENBAND with the new trading name, Ribbon Communications, in late 2017, as the merger of the combined US$745 million entity came to a close.