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Packeteer Makes Mentat Purchase

Packeteer picks up satellite specialist for $16.5M in cash, plus $3.5M in retention bonuses for Mentat's staff

Packeteer Inc. (Nasdaq: PKTR) has snapped up networking specialist Mentat Inc. in a cash deal worth $16.5 million, which it hopes will open new routes to market (see Packeteer Acquires Mentat).

Mentat develops acceleration technologies specifically for satellite and high-latency network links. The Los Angeles-based firms flagship offering is the SkyX appliance, which replaces TCP-over-satellite links with XTP, a protocol built for long latency, high-loss conditions. This is designed to improve the performance of IP-based applications traveling over the links.

The networking specialist also licenses the SkyX Gateway technology in the form of a software source code for integration with satellite modems, routers, caching systems, and other satellite connectivity equipment. On a conference call earlier today, David Côté, Mentat’s ÇÉÔ, explained that the deal will also enable Packeteer to exploit new markets, namely the government and military sectors.

Currently, these markets account for only 5 percent of Packeteer’s customer base, although they make up half of Mentat's customers. Packeteer execs on the call were unwilling to divulge any information on individual government users, although they confirmed that their new acquisition has no 10 percent customers.

Although its federal clients are being kept under wraps, Mentat also boasts an impressive list of commercial customers, including IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Sprint Corp. (NYSE: FON), and Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE).

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