Carrier WiFi

Belden Snaps Up Trapeze

WiFi switch vendor Trapeze Networks Inc. has been bought for $133 million in cash by components maker Belden Inc. (NYSE: BDC). (See Trapeze Acquired.)

St. Louis-based Belden says the acquisition will give a wireless edge to its cable and connectivity products, adding the mobility capabilities its enterprise customers need. Belden says its 2008 sales will stay in the $2.2 billion to $2.3 billion range in 2008, despite the acquisition.

Pleasanton, Calif.-based Trapeze reported $27 million in revenues in 2007. The company has generally derived its sales through OEM deals with the likes of 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS). (See 3Com Pushes Enterprise WLAN.)

Trapeze was one of the first startups to talk up the concept of a wireless LAN switch. Between 2002 and 2004, Trapeze, along with Airespace and Aruba Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: ARUN), emerged as one of the leading startups set on managing enterprise WiFi. (See Trapeze's Wireless Bait & Switch.)

Since then, however, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) bought Airespace and cemented its 60 percent-plus lead in the corporate WiFi market. Aruba and Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) have been duking it out for the second-place spot, and other startups such as Meru Networks Inc. have been challenging for Trapeze's share of the market.

Belden is holding a conference call about the acquisition on Monday morning.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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