The Invex products, which generated revenues of about US$5 million in 2010, and 19 Invex-related staff (mostly R&D engineers based in Virginia, U.S.) will join Anite's Nemo network-testing unit, which is run out of Oulu, Finland.
Anite says the Invex mobile network performance monitoring products, which include drive-test and in-building test tools, will boost its ability to pitch to Long Term Evolution (LTE) network operators and add to its North American customer base. (See Andrew Adds LTE to Drive-Testing Solution.)
While the value of the deal hasn't been announced, Anite noted in a statement to the London Stock Exchange that the price paid "will be easily met from Anite's existing net cash resources," which totaled £28.4 million ($44.2 million) at the end of October 2010.
The move comes just as CommScope, which acquired CommScope Inc. in 2007, is about to become a private company, following a $3.9 billion deal with The Carlyle Group LLC . (See CommScope Comes Back for Andrew, Carlyle Snaps Up CommScope for $3.9B and CommScope Shareholders Approve Merger.)
Why this matters
While this isn't a major deal in financial terms, it's an indication of the importance that the test vendors are placing on having a fully rounded set of LTE capabilities in-house.
Anite clearly sees the LTE market as a key area of growth for its networks test division, which generated nearly £12 million ($18.7 million) in revenues in the six months to the end of October 2010. And it's got some justification, as the number of operators rolling out LTE networks is only going to increase in the coming 12 months and beyond.
But Anite faces stiff competition, as the LTE drive-test sector is populated by the likes of Actix Ltd. , JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU), SwissQual Holding AG and Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG . (See JDSU Snaps Up Agilent Wireless Unit and SwissQual Tests TS's LTE.)
There's been plenty of other wireless test-related acquisition activity in the past year or so, and it's very likely there will be further strategic M&A activity related to the LTE Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) market in the coming year. (See Danaher Splashes $300M on More Test Assets.)
The addressable market for test vendors with LTE smarts is growing, and is only going to get bigger:
- Ericsson Wins Euro LTE Deal
- CES 2011: AT&T Accelerates LTE Push
- Who's Bagged the Biggest LTE Deals?
- Where in the World Is LTE?
- NTT Docomo Launches LTE Service
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