B&B Electronics Completes Quatech Acquisition

Oct. 18, 2011
Combining Strengths in Rugged Wireless Connectivity and Machine-to-Machine Communications, B&B Looks to Expand Its Product Technologies and Market Reach

B&B Electronics completed its acquisition of the assets of Quatech, immediately expanding the range of product technology and application solutions offered by both companies, along with adding significant reach into new sales and distribution channels.

B&B Electronics has been providing rugged wireless connectivity and communications solutions for 30 years. Quatech products enable machine-to-machine (M2M) communications via secure 802.11 wireless or traditional wired networks, with industrial-grade embedded radios, modules, boards and external device servers, and bridges. The companies sell complementary products with little overlap in the connectivity marketplace and, in some cases, have sold one another’s products for several years.

“It’s a natural fit,” explained Sean Harrigan, CEO of B&B Electronics. “Together, we are creating a powerful connectivity solutions provider for our customers. Quatech brings tremendous engineering expertise in wireless connectivity and experience in creating large-scale, industry-specific solutions that are very important. In addition, we plan to expand and leverage our combined engineering teams to accelerate the pace of product development, thereby energizing our ability to deliver compelling new solutions for our customers.”

Quatech brings to B&B two particular strengths: the embedded technology needed for WiFi applications, and a comprehensive sales and distribution network in the connectivity and engineering industries. Quatech customers, in turn, will benefit from B&B’s extensive resources in product and application engineering, along with a very deep direct marketing platform through a catalog and web presence that reaches more than a million people.

With the acquisition, B&B now has a much wider range of products with deeper technical expertise, said Steven Runkel, formerly CEO of Quatech. He will continue with B&B as vice president of sales and marketing. “At its core, we believe the market has changed, that our customers are searching for new types of partners in ways that we’ll now be well positioned to serve,” he said. “In many instances, the pace of integration projects has accelerated at the same time as their complexity has increased. Today’s leaner companies have fewer staff resources to devote to these projects, so choosing a technology partner becomes even more important than in the past.”

B&B will continue to operate as a privately held company with international headquarters in Ottawa, Ill. Sales and channel management and wireless engineering design will be managed out of Quatech’s facility in Hudson, Ohio.