Andrew Corp. said it is acquiring The Antenna Co. to break into the North American consumer accessories market, marking the possible beginning of consolidations between companies vying for a piece of the expected $3 billion accessory business.
The transaction will be done as a pooling of interest. Andrew will exchange shares of its common stock for all outstanding stock privately held by The Antenna Co. A definitive agreement was signed Jan. 25; the deal may close as soon as late March.
Overland Park, Ill.-based Andrew manufactures cellular base station antennas but does not build consumer-size cellular antennas for the accessory market. The Antenna Co. specializes in that business and has strong channels in the cellular carrier market.
“This will provide us with an expansion into the United States with a business we got into in Europe,” said Andrew spokesman Tom Sykes. Andrew began selling accessories and manufacturing a few items in Europe about three years ago to study the opportunity. It has been a successful venture, Sykes said.
“We can stay at the same level of success, we could do that with just antennas,” said Chris Perry, spokesman for The Antenna Co. “But The Antenna Co. has lofty goals and we can better reach those through an alliance with Andrew. There is enormous potential financially in the accessory business.”
It has not been determined how long The Antenna Co. will keep its name, nor how long the firm will remain in Itasca. About 150 people work at the Itasca headquarters. “This (acquisition) is a reflection of where everything is going, with groups partnering for resources and to reach the right channels. Both companies can capitalize on each other’s business,” Perry said.