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Cisco secretly planning to buy Brocade?

LightReading covering this:

The move would make some tactical sense. It would boost Cisco's standing in storage networking and would also keep Foundry out of Brocade's hands. Brocade is hoping its $3 billion purchase of Foundry will make it an Ethernet/storage powerhouse to rival Cisco, or at least Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR - message board). (See Brocade Takes Aim at Cisco (& Juniper).)

Moreover, Brocade would come at a discounted price. Shares are still down about 12 percent since the company announced the 40 percent premium it would pay for Foundry, and its stock is down 25 percent from a 52-week high of $9.61 set on Halloween.

Then again, maybe it's just a sign that Cisco acquisition rumors are back in season. Talk of a deal with EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC - message board) was making the rounds just weeks ago.

That talk might be fueled by a relative slump in orders that, come October, will have dogged Cisco for a full year. The company is still growing, but in single digits, compared with the 12 to 17 percent range that CEO John Chambers continues to target. (See Cisco: Economic Troubles Aren't Over.)


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