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InfoVista Bulks Up With $45M Acquisition of Ascom's Network Testing Unit

Ray Le Maistre
8/22/2016
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InfoVista, the French network performance assurance specialist, is snapping up Ascom's TEMS network testing unit in a cash- and debt-free deal valued at US$45 million.

InfoVista SA , which supplies a range of network assurance, orchestration and optimization tools to enterprise users as well as mobile and fixed-line operators, says the acquisition will see it "nearly double in size" to about $200 million in revenues and expand its geographic reach, especially in the US and Asia. (See InfoVista to Acquire Ascom’s TEMS Business.)

TEMS is a well established supplier of wireless network testing tools that range from the lab to field test teams. Based in Reston, Va., the TEMS business has about 400 staff and boasts more than 650 customers worldwide, including the world's top 20 mobile operators. It competes with the likes of Anite and Rohde & Schwarz.

InfoVista, which has about 430 staff and about 1,200 customers globally, says the deal will "strengthen its ability to offer innovative solutions for mobile network performance analytics, indoor network design and optimization, and active service testing," and identified the introduction of small cells, VoLTE and 5G as growth drivers.

It has some work to do to turn the TEMS unit around, though. According to Ascom , a Swiss multinational that decided earlier this year to focus on healthcare and mobile applications, the TEMS unit reported a 36% year-on-year decline in revenues for the first six months of 2016 to 35.2 million Swiss Francs ($36.5 million), blaming a "challenging market environment" for the decline in sales. TEMS also reported a first half EBITDA loss of CHF7.9 million ($8.2 million).


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InfoVista, now owned by Apax Partners, has a track record of growing its business through strategic acquisitions: In November 2012 it bought Mentum, a radio access and backhaul network planning and optimization tool vendor; in late 2013 it acquired Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based mobile network optimization specialist Aexio; and in April 2015 it acquired WAN optimization vendor Ipanema Technologies. (See InfoVista Acquires Aexio for Network Optimization.)

InfoVista was sold by private equity firm Thoma Bravo to French investment firm Apax Partners (a different company from Apax Partners LLP) for an undisclosed sum in early May this year. At the time of the deal, Apax stated that its "objective is to establish InfoVista as an undisputed worldwide leader in the network performance orchestration software market."

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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Ray@LR
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8/22/2016 | 5:34:45 AM
Smart move by InfoVista
Ascom wanted out, Infovista can find efficiencies and synergies and upsell opportunities and has snapped up TEMS for what appears to be about 60% of annualized revenues, debt-free.

Its biggest challenge, I guess, is what it will do with 400+ staff -- will it keep them all? That's a lot of opex. But to grow, you need peoplen to execute the business plan...
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