Acacia Communications Kills Merger Agreement With Cisco

The optical networking manufacturer is terminating the deal because it said it didn’t get approval from China on the deal in time, while Cisco argues that it did meet all conditions of the agreement.


Acacia Communications is backing out of its $2.6 billion merger agreement with Cisco Systems.

The manufacturer of optical interconnect products elected to end the agreement made a year and a half ago after Acacia said it failed to get approval from the Chinese government’s State Administration for Market Regulation before the termination deadline, which was Jan. 8, 2021.

Cisco, for its part, informed Acacia that it will dispute Acacia’s right to have terminated the merger agreement. Acacia said in a statement that it intends to defend any such claims.

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[Related: Cisco’s Acacia Acquisition Will Strengthen Its All-Important Service Provider Business]

Acacia’s stock was up 15.14 percent on Friday morning to $83.70 after news of the collapsed deal broke. Acacia now has a market cap of $3.52 billion.

Cisco in July 2019 first announced plans to buy Acacia Communications for $70 per share in cash in a $2.6 billion deal on a fully diluted basis, the two companies said at the time. Prior to the merger agreement, Acacia and Cisco already had a relationship. Maynard, Mass.-based Acacia has been a Cisco supplier of its high-speed, optical interconnect technologies that help hyper-scale cloud and service providers, as well as data center operators -- two large customer segments for Cisco -- meet consumer demands for data.

Together, Cisco said that Acacia’s technology would strengthen its innovation capabilities across software, silicon and optics, which would help the San Jose, Calif.-based tech giant continue to make networks smarter, simpler and more secure.

Cisco channel partners told CRN in 2019 that the company’s planned purchase of Acacia Communications could help service providers build fast and resilient networks and could also help cement the tech giant’s leadership in the global market against competitors like Huawei.

Cisco said that it had met the conditions for closing the deal, including gaining approval from China. Cisco in a statement said it is seeking a court mandate that would block the deal from being terminated “until the court resolves these matters” as well as an order from the court requiring Acacia to close the transaction.

The tech behemoth said it was notified on Thursday that China’s antitrust regulator determined Cisco’s submission was “sufficient to address the relevant competition concerns.’’