EIL Instruments to sell test gear line to N.Y. company Energy Controls Group staying in Hunt Valley

March 05, 1997|By Sean Somerville | Sean Somerville,SUN STAFF

EIL Instruments Inc. of Hunt Valley has agreed to sell its electronic test equipment business to Transmation Inc. of Rochester, N.Y., for $22 million, in a transaction likely to eliminate about 40 Maryland jobs, EIL said yesterday.

Samuel T. Woodside, president of EIL, said the companies started discussing the possibility of a deal about six months ago.

"The industry is going through a consolidation and we had been prospecting for acquisitions ourselves," Woodside said.

Both EIL and Transmation distribute electronic test equipment, which is used by customers who design, manufacture or test electronics.

EIL's distribution business has annual sales of $45 million. Transmation's annual sales are $38 million.

Transmation, a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq stock market, was a more natural buyer because of its access to capital in a strong stock market, Woodside said. The purchase is expected to be completed April 4.

"The acquisition combines two outstanding companies to create a more powerful organization," said Eric McInroy, Transmation's chief operating officer.

EIL's sales and service division employs about 300 people nationwide, including about 50 in Hunt Valley.

The acquisition will result in the transfer of some corporate and sales management jobs to Transmation's headquarters, the two companies said. Woodside estimated that about 40 "corporate management and corporate support jobs" in Hunt Valley would be eliminated.

EIL will keep its Energy Controls Group in Hunt Valley. The division, which employs about 75, manufactures microprocessor-based energy controls used in supermarkets such as Giant Food Inc. stores. The products control the temperature, frost cycles and lighting of grocery store freezers.

Founded in Baltimore in 1970, EIL grew into a national distributor of electronic test equipment. The company went public in 1981. A management group led by Woodside took the company private in 1989.

Pub Date: 3/05/97

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