Fortinet Set to Acquire Meru Networks for $44 Million

Consolidation in the WLAN marketplace continues.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted May 27, 2015
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Networking vendor Fortinet today announced its intention to acquire Wi-Fi vendor Meru for approximately $44 million. Under the terms of the transaction, Fortinet will pay $1.63 per Meru share in cash, with the acquisition expected to close in the third quarter of 2015.

Meru has been public since 2010, and for fiscal 2014, reported annual revenue of $90.9 million. Meru's technology platform includes the MC controller family of products that scale up to the top-end MC6000, which is able to support up to 5,000 access points and up to 50,000 clients.

Wi-Fi access points are another core element of the Meru portfolio, which includes the AP832 dual radio, dual band 802.11/a/b/g/n/ac device. Software is also part of Meru's product lineup, including the Meru Center WLAN management platform and the Meru Service Assurance Manager software.

Cloud is also a key area for Meru, with the XPress cloud-managed Wi-Fi system. The idea of managing Wi-Fi from the cloud is an attractive one that Cisco has also bought into by way of its $1.2 billion acquisition of Meraki in 2012.

"The acquisition of Meru Networks maps to our overall security vision of combining strong network security with ubiquitous connectivity," Ken Xie, founder, chairman and CEO of Fortinet, said in a statement. "We expect this to accelerate our innovation through the delivery of new solutions and services to help enterprises of all sizes deploy, manage and secure wired and wireless networks in a mobile era."

Meru has attempted to differentiate itself in the crowded market for Wi-Fi vendors with its Software Defined Networking (SDN) approach.

"Meru's technology differentiation, and its position as the only ONF-certified SDN wireless solution, along with Fortinet's core, edge and access security solutions, will provide a broader solutions portfolio for our sales teams and channel partners," Dr. Bami Bastani, president and CEO of Meru Networks, said in a statement.

Fortinet's acquisition of Meru follows the much larger acquisition of Aruba by HP. HP acquired Aruba in a $2.7 billion deal that was first announced in March.

In addition to the acquisition of Meru, Fortinet today announced its new FortiGuard Mobile Security Subscription service. The new service provides control and malware defences for both Apple IOS and Android environments.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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