Verisign to acquire Illuminet in $1.2 billion deal

Internet domain registry and security specialist VeriSign Inc. has agreed to acquire network services company Illuminet Holdings Inc. in a stock transaction worth some US$1.2 billion, VeriSign said in a statement Monday.

The merger will allow Verisign to offer services combining voice and IP (Internet Protocol) networks, such as secure short messaging; a system linking phone numbers and Web domain names, giving businesses a single point of contact; and a service called Global Voice Registry allowing callers to reach a business simply by speaking its name, VeriSign said.

Illuminet helps major wireless and fixed-line telecommunication carriers route calls to each other, and enables services such as caller identification and local number portability. VeriSign is best known for its management of the Internet's .com, .net, and .org TLDs (top level domains).

Under the terms of the deal, VeriSign will exchange 0.93 shares or options of its common stock for each outstanding share and option of Illuminet, and will assume Illuminet's outstanding employee stock options. The merger, pending approval by government regulators and Illuminet shareholders, is expected to be closed in the final quarter of 2001 or the first quarter of 2002.

VeriSign, in Mountain View, California, can be reached at +1-650-961-7500 or http://www.verisign.com/. Illuminet, in Olympia, Washington, is at +1-360-493-6000 or http://www.illuminet.com/.

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