Network infrastructure company Cisco today announced a slightly puzzling acquisition - Pure Digital, makers of the popular, budget Flip Video camcorders.

Cisco looks set to buy the privately-held Pure Digital outright for $590 million (£406 million), plus $15 million (£10 million) in equity to retain key personnel.

"The acquisition of Pure Digital is key to Cisco's strategy to expand our momentum in the media-enabled home and to capture the consumer market transition to visual networking," said Ned Hooper, a Cisco Vice President. "This acquisition will take Cisco's consumer business to the next level as the company develops new video capabilities and drives the next generation of entertainment and communication experiences."

Flippin' good price

Pure Digital began life as a company selling 'disposable' digital cameras to pharmacies but hit the big time with its ultra-simple Flip Video camcorder that plugs direct into computers via USB to launch built-in basic FlipShare editing and upload software.

The range has expanded to include lightweight and HD models, and over 2 million Flip Videos have now been sold.

In 2007, Flip Video had around 13 per cent of the camcorder market - although other manufacturers, notably Creative, Sony and Panasonic - now offer similarly cut-down movie cameras.

Jonathan Kaplan, chairman and CEO of Pure Digital said, "By combining forces with Cisco, we join a company that shares our passion for video and whose global scale and tremendous technology expertise we expect will enable us to quickly expand and enrich the Flip Video experience."

The purchase is expected to complete during 2009.