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Cisco Acquiring WLAN Switch Vendor Airespace

Cisco Systems confirmed late Wednesday afternoon that it is acquiring Airespace, a vendor of wireless switches, access points, WLAN management and IDS security software.

While Cisco has shied away from the wireless switch approach to managing wireless LANs, it said in a statement that the acquisition makes sense, saying it allows the company both to appeal to more customers and to add Airespace's capabilities into existing Cisco products.

"We continually look for complementary technology that offers new value to our customers," Luca Cafiero, senior vice president for Cisco's data center, switching and wireless technology group, said in a statement.

Cisco said it is paying about $450 million in stock and assumed options for Airespace and expected the deal to close by April 30. The company stressed in its statement that it will continue to support both its Structured Wireless-Aware Network framework (SWAN) product line as well as Airespace products.

Airespace was founded in 2001 and has about 175 employees.