Annapolis firm acquires maker of weather sensors

February 03, 1993|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,Staff Writer

Belfort Instrument Co., an old-line Baltimore manufacturer of meteorological instruments, has been acquired by two former executives of an aviation company.

John Hoover, who has taken over as president of Belfort, said yesterday that the company, founded during the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant, was bought by K S Acquisition Corp., an Annapolis-based company headed by Mr. Hoover and Bruce R. Robinson, who is chairman. The purchase price was not disclosed.

The two businessmen, Mr. Hoover said, previously worked together at UNC Inc., an aviation services company in Annapolis. "Bruce was vice president of business development, and I was vice president of the aerospace group," Mr. Hoover said.

He said they left UNC about two years ago to create Annapolis Capital Resources, a mergers and acquisitions company that also serves as a consultant to start-up concerns. They subsequently formed K S Acquisition Corp. Their first acquisition was UNC Analytical Services, a unit of UNC.

Belfort produces sensors to measure wind direction and speed, precipitation and other factors that help determine visibility range.

The company's sensors are used in the Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) built by AAI Corp. in Cockeysville. The ASOS is electronic equipment used at airports to give pilots updated weather information.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration plans to install the equipment at about 1,700 airports around the country.

Mr. Hoover said he did not know how many times Belfort has changed hands in its 117-year history, but it was most recently owned by TransTechnology Corp., a Union, N.J.-based maker of industrial and aerospace products.

He said he and Mr. Robinson, who completed the purchase Thursday, had no plans to move the company out of Baltimore and do not expect any further changes in its employment. Belfort is at 727 S. Wolfe St. in East Baltimore and has 47 full-time employees and about a dozen temporary workers.

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