Cisco Systems, the San Jose, California–based maker of networking equipment, said Sunday that it has agreed to pay about $1.2 billion to acquire cloud networking company Meraki Inc.
San Francisco–based Meraki, whose financial backers include Sequoia Capital and Google, supplies thousands of clients with cloud-based software used to manage aspects of network infrastructure including Wi-Fi, routing, security, and mobile-devices. Founded by two Massachusetts Institute of Technology doctoral students in 2006, Meraki will expand Cisco’s cloud-based offerings, especially where it concerns midmarket clients.
The agreement calls for Cisco to pay $1.2 billion in cash and “retention-based incentives” to acquire Meraki. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013, pending regulatory approval.
Cisco has turned to longtime outside counsel Fenwick & West to handle legal aspects of the acquisition. The firm has advised Cisco on a number of past transactions, including the $5 billion purchase of video streaming software company NDS Group from Permira Advisers and News Corp. earlier this year. Fenwick also advised Cisco last week on a $125 million acquisition of data center management software company Cloupia.
Fenwick’s team on the Meraki deal includes corporate partners Douglas Cogen and Kris Withrow, as well as technology transactions partner Stephen Gillespie, technology transactions senior counsel Michael Egger, compensation and benefits partner Scott Spector, tax partner Ronald Schrotenboer, and antitrust partner Mark Ostrau. Deputy general counsel Mark Gorman is leading the Cisco in-house team working on the matter.
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is advising Meraki on the transaction. Wilson Sonsini has represented Meraki since its inception, according to a firm spokeswoman. Corporate partners Michael Ringler and Rachel Proffitt are leading the Wilson Sonsini team on the deal. Corporate partner Steven Bochner, tax partner Ivan Humphreys, intellectual property partner Parag Gheewala, and benefits and compensation partners John Aguirre and Scott McCall are also advising.
Corporate counsel Sean Butler is leading the in-house team at Meraki.