Belkin announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Linksys from Cisco.
The privately held networking vendor unveiled its interest in Linsys in late January, and now the deal is complete. This means Linksys' technologies, including its routers and the Smart Wi-Fi portfolio and services, will be managed and maintained by Belkin, but as a separate brand and product portfolio.
This also means that Cisco Connect Cloud, with which users can manage and control control home networks powered by a Smart Wi-Fi router via the Internet, will also be branded without Cisco in its name.
Cisco bought Linksys back in 2003 in a deal that was worth $500 million, but kept the Linksys name, calling it Linksys by Cisco. Ever since, Linksys has been the home-networking choice from Cisco, with two major product lines: the Linksys E series and Linksys EA series. The EA series uses Cisco Connect Cloud to extend home networking into a platform that's integrated with the cloud and can run third-party apps.
According to Chet Pipkin, CEO of Belkin, "The Linksys portfolio will continue to exist and evolve to include even richer user experiences and network management functionality."
This acquisition will turn Belkin into a major home-networking vendor in a rather crowded market; other prominent vendors are D-Link, Netgear, Asus, Trendnet, and TP-Link.
Belkin promises that for existing customers of Linksys products, support remains available through the existing Linksys support channels and the support page on the Linksys Web site. All valid warranties will be honored for current and future Linksys products.
Selling off Linksys is Cisco's latest move in its focus on business and enterprise products. The company also gave the Flip camcorder the boot in mid-2011.
Since Belkin is a privately held company, specific financial details of this acquisition will not be disclosed.