Spirent Communications ditched a proposed sale to peer Viavi Solutions in favour of a higher offer from Keysight Technologies, which values the UK-based network testing and assurance specialist at more than £1.1 billion.

Earlier this month, Spirent’s board recommended shareholders accept a £1 billion bid from Viavi for its business, but today (28 March) announced a better offer had come in from Keysight which it backed instead. An investor meeting to discuss the Viavi offer has subsequently been postponed.  

Keysight’s offer comprises a cash offer per share and special dividend for investors coming to a total of £1.158 billion.

In a stock market statement, Spirent noted the new bid comprised “a superior proposition” compared to the proposal from Viavi.

Spirent’s board added combining with Keysight would “allow the business to better serve customer needs, with increased resources and a broader product offering” claiming the combined entity would have “broader capabilities, operational and financial power, and investment in research and development”.

Keysight is a US-based player in the testing sector with customers including mobile operators, automotive companies and other technology players.

Spirent sells products, services and managed solutions in the test and measurement segment including 5G, SD-WAN, cloud and autonomous vehicle technologies.  

The deal is subject to the Spirent shareholder nod and regulatory approvals.