Spirent jumps as Keysight trumps Viavi in £1.16B bidding war

Telecoms tester Spirent shares jump after backing £1.16bn cash bid from Keysight.

Spirent jumps as Keysight trumps Viavi in £1.16B bidding war
Spirent Communications SPT

Telecoms testing firm Spirent Communications (LSE: SPT) shares jumped over 12% on Thursday after agreeing to a £1.16 billion takeover offer from Keysight Technologies, walking away from an earlier £1.01 billion bid by Viavi Solutions.

Spirent stated that the 201.5 pence per share cash offer from California-based Keysight was superior to the existing 175 pence per share bid from Viavi, an Arizona manufacturer of network testing equipment. Spirent had recommended the lower Viavi offer on March 5th.

The Keysight offer breaks down to 199.0 pence per share in cash plus a 2.5 pence special dividend to Spirent shareholders. Viavi's rejected bid was an all-cash 172.5 pence per share offer along with a 2.5 pence special dividend.

Spirent shares surged 11% to 198.00 pence on the London Stock Exchange Thursday morning following the announcement.

Spirent Chair Bill Thomas said: "The board of Spirent is pleased to recommend Keysight's cash offer for Spirent, which is an increase of 15% to the Viavi proposal."

CEO Eric Updyke added: "Keysight's offer will provide further opportunities for our employees and strengthens our customer offering."

By accepting Keysight's higher bid, Spirent has backed out of the previously agreed deal with Viavi Solutions. The takeover by Keysight values the telecommunications testing firm at £1.16 billion.

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