Fluke snaps up Microtest

Testing tools company Fluke Networks Inc. Thursday announced an agreement to acquire Microtest Inc. in a US$74 million share deal that furthers the consolidation of the test and measurement market. Microtest manufactures scanning and troubleshooting equipment for copper and fiber-optic cable, and network-attached storage (NAS) devices. Microtest's NAS devices have been discontinued.

Fluke Networks says that although there is overlap between the two companies' products, the audiences for those products differ. Fluke Networks sells to the corporate enterprise, while Microtest targets resellers and consultants. The company has not determined yet if any products other than the NAS devices will be eliminated.

Earlier this year, Fluke Networks acquired Fotec, a manufacturer of fiber-optic test equipment. Agilent Technologies Inc. acquired Scope Communications Inc.; Ideal bought Wavetech; and Greenley Textron bought Datacomm Technologies. Fluke Networks did not rule out further acquisitions.

"We saw consolidation happening around us and thought it would be a good thing to find a complementary business with a tremendous amount of expertise in its own right," says Paul Stone, worldwide communications director for Fluke Networks.

Fluke Networks provides the Network SuperVision products, which support the installation, analysis and monitoring of enterprise and telecommunications networks and the installation and certification of fiber and copper cabling. The company, headquartered in Everett, Wash., has over 400 employees and revenues of $44.6 million for the year ended December 2000. Fluke Networks is a subsidiary of the Danaher companies.

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