ABB Continues Acquisition Spree, Snaps Up Tropos Networks

No sooner does ABI publish my recent Insight on the seemingly continuous flow of acquisitions taking place across the smart grid ecosystem than another quickly follows. After Eaton’s capture of Cooper Industries last month, I remarked that it is unlikely that its “chief competitors will be resting on their laurels – ABB, for example, is said to have earmarked $9 billion to $18 billion for acquisitions over the next five years.” Right on cue, the company has just announced that it is to acquire Tropos Networks, a Silicon Valley-based company that develops and markets wireless technologies and products for distribution area communication networks. Although the exact terms of the deal are currently unknown, ABB will certainly not have used up too much of its vast “purchase pot” – Tropos employs just 55 people compared to the 26,000 at Cooper Industries (which sold for $12.6 billion).

According to Jens Birgersson, head of ABB's Network Management business, Tropos’ technologies are a great fit with the company’s existing communications offering and will “provide ABB with additional access to US markets, where we still have considerable room to grow." Tropos’ product line includes directional radios, mesh routers as well as software and network management programs that ensure interoperability between deployed assets, old and new. Some applications for the company’s solutions are: collector backhaul, reclosers, switches, sensors on distribution lines and capacitor bank monitoring.
Tropos joins the likes of Ventyx, Mincom, Insert Key Solutions, Obvient Solutions and Thomas & Betts, all of whom have been gobbled up by the Swiss giant in recent years.