Motorola division to buy Columbia electronics firm

Intelligence services, military are clients

March 30, 2000|By Stacey Hirsh | Stacey Hirsh,SUN STAFF

Motorola Inc. announced plans yesterday to acquire Communications Solutions Division, a Columbia electronics company that develops voice and data switching devices, remote controls and products for the intelligence community.

"We think it's going to be a case that there's so much synergy that one plus one is going to be a lot greater than two," said Mark Fried, corporate vice president and general manager of Motorola's Integrated Systems Division.

CSD will become part of Integrated Systems once the deal is completed, probably in the second quarter. Terms were not disclosed.

Communications Solutions is a division of Communication Systems Technology Inc., also of Columbia.

CSD manufactures voice and data switching products, such as headsets and walkie-talkies used by National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The division also makes remote controls used in networks involving several communications devices scattered around large areas, and it manufactures products for the intelligence community, said Bob Pfister, the CSD's vice president of sales and marketing.

Pfister said the deal would mean growth for CSD. "We have a much larger marketing arm available to us, and we can get our products out to a lot more people," he said.

Other CSD clients include the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration, as well as all military test ranges in the United States, Pfister said.

The company, which has about 90 employees, does most of its sales through an in-house team. Pfister and Fried expect the acquisition will create new jobs at CSD rather than layoffs. "There aren't any guarantees, but we expect that we'll be staffing up," Pfister said.

The two other divisions of Communication Systems Technology -- OutReach Technologies in Columbia and Manufacturing Services & Integration in Virginia -- will not be affected by the acquisition, Pfister said.

Fried said Communication Solutions technology fits Motorola's military and commercial markets. Motorola has used many of its systems over the past couple of years, Fried said.

CSD provides the intercoms that allow military tactical operation centers built by Motorola to communicate with other centers in an area, Pfister said.

"It's both the military market that we're in and commercial markets that we think their stuff has great applications," Fried said.

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