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Private equity firms flirt with 3Com

Money men gone fishing

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Rumor has it that private equity firms are interested in taking born-again telecom equipment maker 3Com off the market.

A Wall Street Journal blog claims that over the last few months, private equity firms including Silver Lake Partners and Bain Capital have approached 3Com about a possible purchase. Rival telecom equipment maker Nortel Networks has reportedly been eying the company as well.

The WSJ said it is still unclear just how much the firms are willing to shell out for the company. Although 3Com has lost money for three straight years, its losses have narrowed with its new commitment to retake the #2 spot behind market behemoth Cisco.

Early this year, 3Com bought out Huawei's share of a joint partnership deal between the two companies for $882m. The company's second pillar for re-emergence was the acquisition of IDS/IPS vendor TippingPoint in 2004. Last month, the company took the subsidiary public via an IPO.

Although 3Com's wiggling may have attracted the attention of equity firms eager to devour another tech company, 3Com still has a long way to go. Even a mad bomber under the guidance of satan has failed to put the company back in the black. ®

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