Location beacon maker Kannad acquired for €10M

Kannad 406 XS-3 GPS
Kannad 406 XS-3 GPS
French maker of Personal Location Beacon (PLB) Kannad SAS was acquired yesterday by Orolia SA, a world leader in atomic clocks and synchronization systems. The transaction valued at €10 million was entirely paid in Orolia shares and is expected to be closed in September 2009. Kannad is one of the worldwide market leaders in personal location beacons and recorded pro-forma sales of 17.7 M€ in 2008.

Jean-Yves Courtois, Chairman and CEO of the Orolia Group, said “For many years, we have been providing our customers with systems to deliver and control the time and frequency information required by their vital applications, at any time and under any circumstances. In today’s world where traceability is critical and expansion of geolocation services is prolific, it appeared natural to strengthen our product portfolio with solutions that allow our customers to track in real time and in any environment the position of their key assets. Thus, we have decided to extend our “Timing” expertise to the global Positioning, Navigation, Timing (PNT) segment that is closely linked to Global Navigation Satellite Systems where Orolia is already a renowned player”.

Courtois also added, “Given the formative stage of markets for time and location applications and our focus on high-end, niche markets, we believe the ‘Search & Rescue’ sector is a particularly attractive area to advance this mission. The acquisition of Kannad, which has both a strong brand and business in this field, is for us a great opportunity to enter this market in a favorable position and expand new business as the PNT market structure solidifies”.

While Personal Location Beacons have been historically using wireless signal triangulation for determining the location of the distress message, the most recent generation of PLBs - such as the Kannad 406 XS-3 GPS - has integrated GPS technology to accurately pinpoint the person to be rescued. Moving forward GPS integration is likely to become a standard feature in location beacons.

Thursday, July 30th 2009

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