EXFO and NetHawk - Another Marriage Made in Heaven?

Published: 24 Mar 2010

By Olga Yashkova, Industry Analyst/Program Leader, Frost & Sullivan

The communications test equipment market has witnessed a number of significant mergers and acquisitions since 2008. The latest one occurred on March 12, 2010, when EXFO announced the acquisition of NetHawk, one of the key players in the wireless protocol analyzers industry. This is the eighth acquisition for the company since 2000.

This article discusses the potential impact of NetHawk's acquisition on EXFO, their customer base and the overall communication test industry. It also provides a little background on the history of EXFO from an acquisition's perspective, shedding light on the company's competitive strategy.

EXFO is the leading company in the Fiber-Optic Test Equipment Market. In 2008, the company had 18 percent of the overall market revenues. EXFO has a diverse product portfolio, serving the needs of network equipment manufacturers and service providers in the Triple Play and Next-Generation Services Test & Monitoring, Service Assurance, IMS, Gigabit Ethernet, and High-Speed Ethernet testing up to 100G, SONET/SDH, and optical testing markets.

In  December 2000, EXFO acquired Burleigh Instruments, Inc. (which was renamed EXFO Burleigh Products Group, Inc.) for its wavelength measurement instruments,  and purchased EFOS, Inc. (renamed EXFO Photonic Solutions, Inc.) in March 2001 for its precision light-based, adhesive spot-curing technology. In August 2001, EXFO acquired Avantas Networks, followed by the purchase of Gnubi in September of 2002. In January 2006, the company acquired Consultronics, a leading manufacturer of telecommunications test equipment that included xDSL cable qualifiers. In 2008, EXFO Acquired Navtel Communications and, in the same year, entered the next-generation service assurance market space with the acquisition of Brix Networks, which later was renamed EXFO Service Assurance. With the acquisition of NetHawk, EXFO is boldly entering the wireless protocol analyzers market.

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