Cisco acquired the consumer-oriented networking company almost a decade ago, in 2003. At the time, Cisco wanted to expand its brand presence into the consumer realm, where most people were unlikely to have heard of the company, unless they happened to use one of Cisco's ubiquitous business phones at their workplace. Cisco went on to buy handheld camcorder pioneer Flip, before unsubtly dismantling that comany and ceasing its operations a few years later.
Back then, Cisco paid a roughly $500 million fee in order to pick up the smaller company. They're not likely to get that now, according to Bloomberg.
It's biggest hope, according to some people with knowledge of the goings on, is to catch the notice of certain TV set makers - Linksys is a well-established brand, and has a reasonable amount of cachet with average people.
Reportedly, Cisco is cutting out Linksys in order to fully divest itself of its consumer-facing properties, and concentrate on strengthening its enterprise software and services businesses. To help the process move along, Cisco is enlisting the help of Barclays, Plc. in order to find a buyer.
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