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Belkin will retain Linksys brand with acquisition complete

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Belkin completed its acquisition of Cisco's (Nasdaq: CSCO) Linksys home network division on Friday with plans to retain the company's brand, products and support channels.

In January, Belkin acquired Linksys from Cisco for an undisclosed price. Like the shuttering of its Flip camera division, Cisco sold off Linksys as part of its ongoing move out of the consumer market to refocus its efforts on developing products for its core enterprise and service provider customer base.

Cisco purchased Linksys for $500 million in 2003 in a hope of making a dent in the home networking business. However, it found that the product's profitability wasn't easy to maintain.

Although Cisco does not specify its home networking revenues, Reuters said in a report at the time Cisco announced the sale to Belkin that the division that includes home networking reported a revenue decline of about 12 percent to $220 million in its fiscal year 2012 results.

The vendor's move to sell Linksys signaled another step in the company's move to get out of the consumer business. It made its first move in this direction in 2011 when company CEO John Chambers laid off 7,800 employees and shut down the Flip video camera business. Later in July 2012, Cisco cut 1,300 employees, or about 2 percent of its workforce, a move it said was designed to cut costs and simplify its overall structure.

Although Belkin said it would try to keep as many employees in all of its divisions and regions, company leaders told Computerworld that it could lay off some employees. Neither Linksys nor Belkin would talk about what roles the Linksys management team would have at Belkin.

One thing that Belkin did make clear is that it plans to advance the Linksys product line with plans to make what it said in a release would be "several announcements in the spring time."

Existing customers and retailers can still get support for Linksys products remains available through the existing Linksys support channels, including the support page on the Linksys website.

For more:
- see the release
- Computerworld has this article

Special report: The top wireline mergers & acquisitions in 2012

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