So what was once the famous Hewlett-Packard test brand became Agilent and now becomes a standalone electronics test firm called Keysight Technologies.
This has been 11 months in preparation. The separation of the test and measurement business from Agilent Lifesciences was announced in September 2013.
“As we launch our new company, we are mindful of our rich heritage as part of Agilent and prior to that, Hewlett-Packard,” said Ron Nersesian, Keysight president and CEO. “We look forward to the many opportunities ahead that will allow us to focus solely on electronic measurement.”
The new company will operate in the electronic measurement markets, and will include the entire portfolio of Agilent electronic measurement products and the largest sales and support team in the test and measurement industry.
Agilent Technologies is separating the test and measurement business from the larger life sciences and chemical analysis system business.
“The two businesses, the electronic measurement group and the life sciences group, were pulling in different directions from a shareholder point of view,” said Jim Armentrout, European marketing manager for Agilent’s test and measure business.
“The overlap between the two businesses was very small, they operated in different industries and different markets,” said Armentrout.
“Both sets of products are about measurements, but both are measuring very different things,” said Armentrout.
The decision to split the group seems to have been determined in part by the strong growth of the life sciences arm over the last few years. “The life sciences business has grown into a self-sustaining business,” said Armentrout.
The test and measurement business had sales of $2.9bn in this last financial year. The life sciences and chemical analysis systems business is more profitable and larger with sales of $3.9bn.
Keysight will remain a wholly owned subsidiary of Agilent Technologies until early November when the separation is expected to be completed and Keysight begins trading on the New York stock exchange.