Acterna Corp., a holding company, will join its Maryland subsidiary - which makes communications testing equipment - in a new Germantown complex that will consolidate office and manufacturing operations.
The parent corporation moved its headquarters from Burlington, Mass., to Germantown this week in preparation for the move to the new complex this spring. It had 20 employees at its Massachusetts location, less than half of whom will be coming to Germantown.
Acterna Corp. and its 850-employee subsidiary, Acterna, will move into a new six-story building with an adjoining manufacturing facility in the Milestone Business Park around March or April, according to company spokeswoman Alice Ducq.
Acterna currently occupies two manufacturing plants and two office buildings with laboratories in Germantown and part of a building in Clarksburg.
The new office and manufacturing complex totals 310,000 square feet, and the campus has room for a build-out to accommodate 1,500 workers by 2005.
"For us, it was a retention," said Henry Bernstein, assistant director of the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development. "But it was a retention that has long-term probability to it because they have expansion capability on site."
John Peeler, Acterna Corp.'s president, said moving the company's headquarters to Germantown "made sense from a practical and management point of view, and we were trying to run the company ... with a few less sites ... and speed up the decision-making process."
Acterna, the largest of four companies under Acterna Corp.'s umbrella, makes equipment, software and systems and provides services for building and maintaining telecommunications networks. Its customers include AT&T Corp. and Lucent Technologies Inc., and it accounts for about 80 percent of the holding company's revenue.
Last year, Acterna Corp. laid off 1,000 workers worldwide and consolidated its manufacturing operations. The company said its actions were a result of tough economic conditions and a slowdown in the telecommunications sector.
Shares closed yesterday at $3.13, down 14 cents.