Ribbon Communications, a global communications software and network solutions provider, has completed its previously announced acquisition of ECI Telecom Group – a global provider of end-to-end packet-optical transport and SDN/NFV solutions for service providers, enterprises, and data center operators.
The combination of Ribbon and ECI would create an industry-leading communications software and networking company with a comprehensive portfolio of advanced voice, security, data and optical networking solutions. In addition to extending the company’s solutions portfolio into adjacent markets, the merger would advance Ribbon’s strategy of expanding into the service provider 5G data domain with bundled network analytics, intelligence and security offerings.
Ribbon has now created an edge solutions provider business with anticipated combined annual revenue of over $900 million, serving customers in more than 140 countries, and 4,000 employees worldwide. Ribbon expects the combination to position the company for growth and to enhance its competitive strengths by expanding its product portfolio beyond solutions primarily supporting voice applications to include data applications and optical networking.
The combined company would be well positioned to serve the high-growth 5G market. Ribbon anticipates services associated with 5G are to drive a substantial increase in network demand.
“Our expanded product offering combines ECI’s leadership in packet optical networking with our existing proven portfolio of software-based, real-time communications security, analytics and digital transformation solutions,” said Bruce McClelland, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ribbon. “Our new organization will leverage the strength and presence of our global sales force to create a very formidable market leader in the communications industry. ECI’s solutions are specifically designed to address the rapidly growing 5G ecosystem. We look forward to working closely with all of our employees to leverage Ribbon’s strong foundation to build sustained, long-term growth.”
Ribbon has acquired ECI for 32.5 million shares of Ribbon common stock and $324 million of cash. ECI stockholders will also receive approximately $31 million from ECI’s sale of real estate assets.
TAP Advisors and Citizens Capital Markets acted as financial advisors to Ribbon and Latham & Watkins LLP and GKH Law Offices served as Ribbon’s legal advisors. Barclays acted as a financial advisor to ECI and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and FBC & Co. served as ECI’s legal advisors. Citizens Bank, N.A. and Santander Bank, N.A., joint lead arrangers and bookrunners, provided the debt financing for the transaction.