Tollgrade snares Acterna's 'Cheetah' line for $14.3M

Thu, 02/13/2003 - 7:00pm
Jeff Baumgartner

Tollgrade Communications struck a deal to buy Acterna's Status and Performance Monitoring product line for $14.3 million in cash, plus certain liabilities. Those liabilities include a contingent payment, based on 2003 performance targets, to Acterna of up to $2.4 million.

As part of the deal, Acterna said it will move 47 employees — mostly engineers and technicians — to Tollgrade, but will continue its engineering, marketing and service operations in Bradenton, Fla. and Indianapolis, Ind.

Regarding products, Tollgrade will obtain Acterna's "Cheetah" status and performance monitoring product equipment line, and consolidate it with its existing "Lighthouse" status monitoring system. Tollgrade said it will base that product line at a new facility in Sarasota, Fla.

By adding Cheetah to Tollgrade's Lighthouse system, "we have created a value proposition for large or small system operators, both here and abroad," said Tollgrade CEO Chris Allison, in a statement. "As the cable industry continues to evolve, more service providers recognize the need to proactively monitor power supplies and nodes in the cable broadband access network."

Allison said Tollgrade, which has owned the product line for about six weeks, expects the acquisition to add sales in the range of $1.7 million to $2 million during the first quarter of 2003.

Acterna, which first acquired the assets of Cheetah Technologies in August 2000, said it has retained ownership of the return path segment of its status and performance monitoring product line. Further, Acterna said it will focus on its TechSync portfolio, which is associated with the installation, troubleshooting and management of cable services such as high-speed data, video-on-demand and telephony.

Giving proof to that, Acterna and earlier this week agreed to integrate software applications on the way to creating a handheld field technician device capable of both network testing and work order management.


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