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Riverbed Agrees to Buy Opnet Adding Network Management

Riverbed Technology Inc. has agreed to acquire Opnet Technologies Inc. in a transaction with an equity value of $1 billion, expanding its offerings to help businesses manage computer networks.

Opnet investors will get about $43 a share, made up of $36.55 in cash and 0.2774 Riverbed shares, the companies said in a statement. That’s about a 34 percent premium over Opnet’s closing price on Oct. 26.

Riverbed, which creates technology to help customers run their software in far-flung data centers more efficiently, has benefited from the growth of cloud computing. Opnet will help Riverbed meet demand for cheaper, faster tools to run corporate data networks, which will increasingly be controlled over the Internet, said Alex Henderson, an analyst at Needham & Co.

“This deal makes a lot of sense and the strengths of Opnet and Riverbed are highly synergistic,” Henderson said in an e-mail interview.

Riverbed, based in San Francisco, will use cash and debt for the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of 2012. Riverbed has a market value of $3.48 billion and had cash and short-term investments of $533.1 million as of Sept. 30.

“The addition of Opnet establishes Riverbed as the clear leader in the high-growth and converging application and network performance management markets,” Riverbed Chief Executive Officer Jerry Kennelly said in the statement. “This acquisition also transforms Riverbed into a billion-dollar revenue company.”

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. advised Riverbed and will provide financing for the transaction, along with Morgan Stanley. Opnet, based in Bethesda, Maryland, received financial advice from Lazard Ltd.

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