GEC pays $2bn for US telecoms manufacturer

GEC pays $2bn for US telecoms manufacturer
Richard Wilson
GEC has moved to strengthen its position in the North American public telecommunications network market with the acquisition of transmission system manufacturer Reltec. The cost of the deal is $2.1bn (?1.3bn).
“The acquisition is a further step in GEC’s transformation and confirms our commitment to the development of Marconi Communications,” said Lord Simpson, GEC’s chief executive. “It also reinforces our position in the high growth transmission and access segment of the communications equipment market.”
According to GEC, the attraction of Reltec, which is based in Cleveland, Ohio and employs 6,600 staff, is its existing customer base of US telephone carriers such as AT&T, Bell Atlantic and MCI, something GEC’s telecoms business, Marconi Communications lacks for its own range of fibre optic transmission systems and WDM multiplexers.
In addition Reltec, which has revenues of over $1bn, has a strong presence in the local loop market with its own range of transmission systems and access products including access multiplexers for the US SONET standard, and both copper and fibre access systems.
It remains to be seen what the two firms’ plans are for integrating their separate optical fibre access systems. Marconi Communications is already one of the world’s leading suppliers of SDH fibre optic transmission systems. Reltec will provide products dedicated to the US market.

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