January 10, 1997 in Nation/World

Itronix Sold In $65 Million Deal Dynatech Corp. Acquires Spokane-Based Manufacturer Of Field Computers

Michael Murphey Staff writer
 

A communications company with global operations has acquired Spokane’s Itronix Corp. in a deal worth $65 million.

The transaction, in which Dynatech Corp., based in Burlington, Mass., bought Itronix from Telxon Corp., a Belgium company, closed earlier this week.

Dynatech officials say they plan no immediate changes in Itronix, which employs about 280 in Spokane.

“We think it’s a strong operation,” said Steve Cantor, Dynatech’s manager of corporate communications, “so our plan is to pretty much leave it as it is.”

Itronix, whose principal product is a rugged notebook computer, was founded as a subsidiary of Spokane-based Itron. Both companies operated for a time under the umbrella of Washington Water Power Co.

Itron, a manufacturer of automated meter reading systems and devices, was founded in 1977 as a subsidiary of WWP. But Itron became an independent company through a public stock offering in 1993.

Itronix was founded in 1989 as a unit of Itron making rugged, hand-held field computers. It was was spun off as a subsidiary company in July 1992.

In January 1993, Itronix was sold to Telxon Corp., a Belgium company that also manufactured hand-held computing devices.

In December, Telxon announced the pending sale of Itronix to Dynatech Corp.

The companies closed the deal on Jan. 6.

Dynatech was founded as a contract research and development firm by a couple of Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors, said Cantor.

It later grew into a diversified electronics company with 43 separate businesses ranging from radar detectors to lightning location systems to medical laboratory equipment.

But in 1994, the company decided to restructure itself, focusing on communications networking. It has since sold off 25 businesses, paring its operation down to two primary pieces.

These are communications test equipment for service providers, and industrial and scientific communications, which involves the manufacture of rugged computers for scientific and factory type situations, Cantor said.

“We see Itronix as a unique bridge between those two businesses,” Cantor said. “It not only sells to service providers, but it manufactures ruggedized computers.”

Cantor said Dynatech was attracted to Itronix because of its growth potential.

“So we hope it continues to grow, and with that growth, that you see an increase in its employment in Spokane,” Cantor said.

, DataTimes


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