Departure of Ruckus channel chief confirms Arris’ confidence in pending takeover, insiders say

Arris is confident that it will finally close on the Ruckus deal in the fourth quarter.

Ruckus Wireless channel chief Sandra Glaser Cheek is no longer with the company, a move company insiders told CRN was precipitated by the pending acquisition of Ruckus by Arris. 

Given the recent hiccup in Arris’ proposed $800 million purchase of Ruckus, the move could be interpreted as a sign that the leading cable-industry vendor is confident that it will finally close on the deal in the fourth quarter. 

"When they merged into Arris, there really wasn't a global marketing position, which is interesting," an unnamed individual associated with Ruckus parent company Brocade told CRN. "I think Sandra was in the right position and didn't have enough time to develop it. … She didn't have a chance to demonstrate a global position and a global role, because if you're told that your company is morphing and changing, but you haven’t been told what it's going to look like, it's [difficult] to be able to develop good messaging.”

Glaser Cheek had been appointed to the Ruckus channel chief role in early January, a month before Arris announced its purchase.

RELATED: Arris’ $800M play to acquire Ruckus hits snag

Last month, Arris said it was confident that its $800 million purchase from Brocade of Ruckus Wireless and the ICX switch business will eventually go through, despite an unexpected regulatory hurdle. The Arris purchase was contingent on the closure of Brocade’s acquisition of Broadcom, which was announced in November and expected to close at the end of July. 

But in an 8-K filing to the SEC made in July, Brocade said that it had jointly agreed with Broadcom to refile their regulatory application with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) in order to build more time into the process. Once the agency accepts the new, jointly filed notice, it will take 30 days to review it. This will be followed by a 45-day investigation period. 

“Brocade and Broadcom have been and will continue to be actively engaged with CFIUS during its review of the proposed acquisition,” Brocade said in its 8-K filing. “There can be no assurances, however, that CFIUS will ultimately agree that the parties may proceed with the proposed acquisition.”

Arris said in a statement, “As previously mentioned, Arris’ agreement to acquire Brocade’s Ruckus business from Broadcom is contingent on Broadcom closing its acquisition of Brocade. We are aware that Broadcom and Brocade are undergoing a CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States) review, and yesterday agreed to refile their notice to provide CFIUS more review time, given the transaction’s complexity. As a result, Broadcom and Brocade now expect the transaction to close before the end of their 4th fiscal quarters. Arris remains confident that we will close the Ruckus acquisition shortly following that closing.”

Ruckus technology is integral to Arris’ plans to enter the wireless business. Also in July, for example, Arris announced that Ruckus components are included in the Carrier-Class Service Provider Wi-Fi Solution. Currently deployed by Mediacom, it's the backbone of the MSO’s new Wi-Fi network.