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Cisco Nears Airespace Acquisition, Sources Say

LONDON — Cisco Systems is rumored to be close to acquiring wireless LAN switch startup Airespace, with sources suggesting the deal may be struck at between $400 million and $450 million.

Word has been circulating for months that Cisco is keen to expand its WLAN offerings, including suggestions that the company has previously stalked Aruba Wireless.

A bid for Airespace is said to be well advanced and documents have been filed with the U.S. Justice Department, which handles antitrust reviews along with other agencies.

Neither Airespace nor Cisco returned calls seeking comment on the deal.

If the deal goes through, it would represent further consolidation of the WLAN switch sector, in which Airespace is one of the fastest growing and longest lasting of many startups. Several have either folded or acquired.

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