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Juniper Networks to acquire AI networking firm 128 Technology for nearly half a billion dollars

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Networking giant Juniper Networks has announced its acquisition of AI-powered SD-WAN startup 128 Technology.

The deal, worth $450 million (subject to customary adjustments), will be completed in cash and the assumption of outstanding equity awards, Juniper confirmed. Also, 128 Technology will issue retention focused restricted stock units, to be assumed by Juniper.

The company said it expects the deal to be closed in its fourth fiscal quarter, after regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. It doesn't expect the acquisition to make a difference to its Q4 report, but for the fiscal year 2021, it expects the transaction to be “slightly accretive to revenue and gross margins”.

Discussing the benefits of the acquisition, Juniper said it expects it to enhance its AI-driven enterprise network portfolio and accelerate the industry’s evolution from first-gen SD-WAN to a more modern AI-driven network that focuses on user experience from client-to-cloud.

The company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer, Manoj Leelanivas, said the firm is “thrilled [to add] another game-changing weapon to our AI-driven enterprise arsenal”.

“The acquisition of 128 Technology will enable Juniper to accelerate in a key area where we are seeing enormous success – the AI-driven enterprise,” added Rami Rahim, CEO of Juniper Networks.

“Both companies share a common vision of putting user experiences above all else and leveraging automation with proactive actions to simplify IT operations. With 128 Technology, we are adding a highly differentiated technology into our award-winning arsenal of campus and branch solutions driven by Mist AI to deliver even more customer value while further accelerating Juniper’s continued growth in the enterprise.”