NetScreen bought for $3.5 billion

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Router and switch manufacturer Juniper Networks Inc is set to acquire network security firm NetScreen Technologies for around $3.5 billion (US).

Juniper reported that it will swap 1.404 of its shares for each share of the UK based networking company. Soon after the announcement, NetScreen shares jumped 43 percent, while Juniper shares fell by 13 percent.

"Juniper and NetScreen have proven their ability to execute separately, and together we will accelerate our ability to serve an expanded market with complementary best in class solutions," said Scott Kriens, Juniper CEO, in a press statement. "Our collective customers have told us security, reliability and performance are mission critical to their network users, and together we will deliver a compelling response to their needs."

NetScreen acquired secure sockets layer (SSL) virtual private network (VPN) firm Neoteris last October. It is thought that ownership of the SSL technology could be a reason for the acquisition.

NetScreen has 900 employees and Juniper has 1,600. The companies are expected to continue selling individual product lines.

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