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Lucent has bought Telica, a privately-owned maker of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) equipment, for $295m and unspecified cash hand-outs to staff.

Lucent is swapping 92.7m shares, and some cash, for all of Telica's equity. The deal should close in Lucent's fourth quarter, subject to the usual regulatory approvals. Costs may slightly dent Lucent profits in fiscal 2005 but the acquisition should be neutral, or contribute to the bottom line, by fiscal 2006.

Janet Davidson, president of Lucent's Integrated Networks Solutions, said: "Telica has a proven VoIP portfolio and has already sold its systems to more than 50 customers in a wide range of applications and networks. Their products give us a more complete, highly scalable VoIP solution and a flexible, open architecture."

John St Amand, founder and CEO of Telica, also welcomed the deal. He said: "I am proud of what Telica has accomplished to this point, deploying more than 3 million ports and supporting about 4 billion minutes of use per month on our PLUS systems.

"As part of Lucent, we will be able to combine our strengths and our industry leading products with Lucent’s broad portfolio of products, services and technology to become the leading provider of VoIP solutions to service providers throughout the world."

Telica employs 250 people, most of them at its Massachusetts headquarters. ®

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