Danaher Splashes $300M on More Test Assets
Keithley is a test systems specialist that generates revenues of around $100 million per year from a broad range of electronics measurement tools, including a range that is used for testing mobile devices and infrastructure (such as base stations and antenna systems).
Danaher, which is paying $21.60 for each Keithley share, will fold its new acquisition into its Tektronix Inc. business, which already boasts a range of wireless measurement platforms such as spectrum analyzers alongside other communications infrastructure test products. (See Tektronix, Optametra Test 100G and Tektronix Offers QoE Detection to Cable.)
Danaher's interest in the telecom test market doesn't end there, though. Its family of companies also includes Tektronix Communications (a separate operation from Tektronix), which also has a broad range of wireless test tools. (See Tektronix Monitors LTE Core and Tektronix Monitors Femtocells.)
The bid to buy Keithley, which still requires shareholder and regulatory approval, comes only weeks after Tektronix Communications expanded its business with the acquisition of security and deep packet inspection specialist Arbor Networks. (See Tektronix Buys Into Security and Tektronix, Arbor CEOs Weigh In on Deal.)
And that's not the only recent M&A activity by Danaher's communications family members: Tektronix added to its video monitoring portfolio in May with the purchase of Mixed Signals, while Tektronix Communications snapped up customer experience management player Arantech in April 2009. (See Tektronix Mixes In Some M&A and OSS News: Tektronix Strikes Again!.)
Danaher also owns OSS and fixed access test tool specialist Fluke Networks, which earlier this year created Visual Network Systems, a new operating unit that focuses on applications performance management. (See Fluke Forms Visual Network Systems and Fluke Unveils OptiView V6.)
Together, Danaher's telecom-related portfolio makes it one of the biggest Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) and test systems suppliers to labs, systems vendors, and carriers in the world.
Danaher isn't alone in spotting a growth opportunity in wireless test and measurement, though, as other established players such as Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A), Anite plc , Anritsu Corp. , Azimuth Systems Inc. , EXFO (Nasdaq: EXFO; Toronto: EXF), Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA), JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU), and Spirent Communications plc have also reacted to the increasing need for performance and assurance tools as wireless data volumes increase. (See Azimuth Wins Deutsche Telekom Deal, Ixia Tests Backhaul Synchronization, Chunghwa Picks JDSU's LTE Test, EXFO Updates Test Platform, Agilent Intros LTE Test Set, JDSU CEO Sees Wireless Test Boom, China Mobile Tests With Anritsu, JDSU Enhances Mobile OSS, Anite, Huawei Demo TD-LTE Tests, EXFO's Mobile Fightin' Talk, It's the Quality, Stupid, Spirent CEO Sees More Testing M&A, Spirent Looks to LTE in Testing Times, Ixia Boasts Catapult Combo, and Ixia Buys RAN Test Specialist.)
— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading