The Business Magazine - B2B Business News - Site Logo
The Business Magazine - B2B Business News - Site Logo
The Business Magazine July 2024
Read now

Crawley’s Spirent Communications could sell to US firm VIAVI for £1bn

The Business Magazine article image for: Crawley’s Spirent Communications could sell to US firm VIAVI for £1bn
14 March 2024

EDIT April 2024: Reworded to reflect rival bid from Keysight Technologies

West Sussex-based Spirent Communications could be acquired by tech multinational VIAVI Solutions in a deal valued at around £1 billion.

Spirent provides automated test, assurance and security solutions for networks and cybersecurity firms, addressing challenges associated with technologies like 5G, the cloud and autonomous vehicles.

In bidding for the Crawley firm, VIAVI is hoping to become a global leader in testing solutions for R&D labs, service providers, data centres and mission-critical infrastructure.

The deal is expected to close in H2 2024 pending Spirent shareholder approval, each of whom would receive a total acquisition value of 175 per share.

Read the March 2024 issue of The Business Magazine, including our feature on skills

Spirent’s directors have already signed irrevocable agreements in support of the acquisition.

Sir Bill Thomas, chairman of Spirent, said: “This offer provides a significant opportunity for Spirent employees, customers and other stakeholders through what is a highly strategic and highly complementary combination.

“With its strong management team, global scale and the cultural alignment between our businesses, we’re confident that in VIAVI, we’ve found the right owner to take Spirent on to the next phase of its growth story.”

Founded in 1936 as Goodliffe Electric Supplies, Spirent employs around 1,500 staff, with its corporate HQ in Crawley and operational base in San Jose, California.

It posted annual revenues of £370 million last year.

CEO Eric Updyke said: “Combining with VIAVI brings together a highly complementary product offering which can be marketed globally.

“It will enable Spirent to build on the strategic progress we’ve made to date, with a partner that has the scale and resources to capitalize on the long-term growth opportunities ahead.

Check out this acquisition alongside other deals across the region on our Deal Ticket

“The combination of VIAVI and Spirent creates a stronger business that will be better able to compete, and we’re confident in the opportunities this will bring for our stakeholders.”

VIAVI has taken out an $800 million from Wells Fargo Bank to fund the acquisition, alongside a $400 million investment from American private equity firm Silver Lake.

Oleg Khaykin, president and CEO of VIAVI, added: “We’re proud to help enable its global customers to pursue innovation across the wide range of industries it serves.

“Combining our leading communications test and measurement and optical technologies and Spirent’s high-performance testing and assurance solutions is expected to deliver enhanced product solutions and applications, accelerate growth in new markets and strengthen innovation through expanded engineering and design capabilities.

“Further, we’re uniting two teams with a shared passion for developing compelling and cutting-edge offerings for customers and a commitment to technological excellence.”

Linklaters advised Spirent on the takeover offer. The team was led by corporate partners Matthew Hearn and James Inglis, corporate managing associate Thomas Bishop, employment and incentives partner Alexandra Beidas, and antitrust and foreign investment partner Neil Hoolihan.

Spirent also sought financial advice from Rothschild & Co and was supported by corporate brokers UBS and Jefferies.

Read more - Revenues hold as Morgan Advanced Materials looks to stronger 2024


Born and raised in Berkshire, Dan fell into journalism after completing his bachelor’s degree in English at UCL.

Writing for The Business Magazine and local Biz News sites has given him the opportunity to chat with all manner of small business owners and share their success stories with a wider audience.

Outside of work, Dan enjoys live music, board games and quiz shows, and is making a slow but persistent effort to learn Spanish.

Latest deal ticket

All deals


All events

Related news

Group Titles

Dorset BIZ NewsHampshire BIZ News