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Riverbed could snap up failed WAN optimiser for $10m

Picking up assets cheap

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Riverbed is reportedly looking to pick up failed WAN optimiser Expand Networks for $10m, a pittance.

Expand went into receivership in Israel in October 2011. It had been operating for 13 years and had benefitted from $100m funding, developing products that speeded up access from remote sites to a data centre's servers. In 2010, Expand's revenues were $11m but it was losing $250,000 each month. A $10m loan repayment became due in 2011. Expand could not pay it, and was wound up after missing several repayment deadlines. A large number of employees were reportedly fired as the liquidators cut costs while trying to keep the business afloat long enough to sell it.

Riverbed, which makes WAN optimisation (Steelhead) and cloud computing gateway (Whitewater) products negotiated to buy Expand in November 2009, according to the Israeli Globes media outlet, but the attempt did not succeed. Now Globes is reporting that Riverbed is once more close to buying Expand and its assets, reportedly within the week.

Two other companies apparently made offers of around $6m, but according to the Israeli biz paper's sources, Riverbed trumped these with a $10m offer. It is unclear whether US-based Riverbed will keep Expand's Israel-based R&D facilities and any of its employees there should the deal close.

El Reg has contacted Lewis, Riverbed's UK PR agency, which said that no one at the company was available to make a statement. ®

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