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Networking company Cisco Linksys have purchased Danish technology company KISS in a $80 million dollar deal. Executives of the company say that Qualifi will be retained as the Australian distributor.

Networking company Cisco Systems is purchasing Danish company KiSS Technology manufacturers of the Qualifi distributed KISS media centre and network entertainment equipment for $80 million dollars.

 

KISS will become a key part of Linksys a wireless networking company which is recognised for its VoIP, wireless and networking hardware solutions in the Lifestyle Technology and SMB markets.Tomas Sorenson General Manager of Sales for KISS told SHN in an exclusive interview that Qualifi will be retained as distributor of the product in Australia. “This is a great investment which will allow us to expand the company quickly. We can double the marketing dollars bring on more engineers while further developing our distribution channels. In Australia Qualifi have done a great job and I am confident that we can expand the brand considerable via the Cisco Linksys ownership”.

 

Among its product portfolio KISS has home video products such as networked DVD players and DVD recorders. KiSS’s technology platform also has the capability to extend to other consumer electronics products and will help Linksys develop a unique, networked entertainment product suite.

 

Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco will pay approximately $80 million in cash and stock in exchange for all shares of KiSS Technology. The acquisition is subject to various standard closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the first quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2006.

 

As more and more entertainment content is delivered over the Internet and as consumers demand access to digital entertainment inside and outside of their home networks, networked entertainment devices will become an integral part of Consumer Electronics,” said Charles Giancarlo, Cisco Chief Technology Officer and Cisco-Linksys president. “KiSS has emerged as a leader in networked video and audio products in Europe and we hope to use that expertise to expand worldwide.”

 

In recent weeks Qualifi has been looking to expand the KISS brand in Australia via a relationship with IT distributors. Currently the product is sold via CEDIA members and Harvey Norman however the Harvey Norman experiment that saw the KISS product ranged exclusively with the mass retailer for the past six months has proved unsuccessful due to the high turnover of Harvey Norman staff and arguments between the Harvey Norman IT divisions who see the KISS range as network devices and the home entertainment division who see it as a high end entertainment device.

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