Cisco looking to buy Citrix ADCs?

Analyst note says NetScaler OEM deal, possible acquisition in the works

Cisco could buy Citrix's networking business if an expected OEM deal involving the latter's application delivery controller product bears fruit, Oppenheimer analysts said this week.

Oppenheimer & Co. issued bulletins stating that Cisco is expected to fill its recent ADC hole with Citrix's NetScaler product under an OEM arrangement. Cisco killed its own Application Control Engine (ACE) product but left open the possibility of revisiting the ADC market once it re-evaluates its strategy.

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Oppenheimer believes that re-evaluation will result in an OEM deal with Citrix and a possible acquisition of the company's NetScaler assets, according to this post in StreetInsider.com.

"From a technology standpoint, NetScaler is a high-quality solution relative to Cisco's discontinued ACE and one that Cisco can sell as a standalone ADC to enterprise/SMBs," the site quotes Oppenheimer as stating. "While OEM relationships are tough to execute, Cisco has a strong sales force and now a strong product to sell. We see little go-to-market conflict as we expect Cisco to focus on standalone solutions while Citrix will focus on bundling with its own solutions."

Longer term, Oppenheimer believes Cisco could move to acquire NetScaler for $1.5 billion to $2.1 billion, or five to seven times fiscal 2012 revenue. Such a deal would put pressure on market leader F5 and Radware, Oppenheimer believes.

Citrix acquired NetScaler in 2005 for $300 million. Spinning it off would allow Citrix to focus on its core virtualization business, Oppenheimer notes.

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