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Cisco's Linksys consumer networking division has agreed to buy Danish networking entertainment devices firm Kiss Technology in a cash and stock deal valued at $61m. Kiss's portfolio includes home video products such as networked DVD players and networked DVD recorders. Cisco said the acquisition will help Linksys to develop a compelling networked entertainment product suite.

The deal - subject to various standard closing conditions including regulatory approvals - is expected to close in the first quarter of Cisco's fiscal year 2006. Privately-held Kiss was founded in 1994 and has 65 employees. Upon close of the acquisition, the Kiss team will be integrated into Linksys. The deal represent Linkys's second acquisition since its purchase by Cisco in March 2003.

Looking beyond the acquisition, Linksys has pledged to continue to support and sell Kiss's existing products in Europe. Over time Linksys also plans to develop a suite of targeted products for other world markets.

According to market research firm In-Stat, the networked entertainment market reached $3.9bn by the end of last year and is expected to grow to $16.1bn by 2009. In-Stat reckons networked entertainment devices will be in use by around 38 per cent of homes by 2009. ®

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