2021 Connector Industry Acquisitions

By John Bishop | March 22, 2022

An emphasis on mil/aero, RF and microwave, and materials and processing capabilities drove significant moves in 2021, as connector companies brought new expertise into their organizations through strategic acquisitions. 

In 2021, the connector industry continued to experience shifts in ownership and expertise as companies moved to bring new capabilities in-house with acquisitions. Although the days of major connector industry moves are mostly in the past, the rise of connected technologies and advanced computing capabilities is leading companies to position themselves to meet customer needs in the future with new products and capabilities. Interconnects related to military and aerospace, microwave and RF technologies, and 5G are among the motivating factors in the year’s acquisitions.  

January 2021 Connector Industry Acquisitions

Bel Fuse Acquires rms Connectors, Inc.
Bel Fuse Inc. (Bel) acquired rms Connectors, Inc., a division of Cretex Companies, Inc. rms Connectors is a highly regarded connector manufacturer with over 30 years of experience producing harsh environment circular connectors used in a variety of military and aerospace applications.  

Daniel Bernstein, CEO of Bel, said, “This acquisition perfectly complements the existing military and aerospace product portfolio under Bel’s Cinch Connectivity Solutions group by expanding its offering of MIL-Spec qualified connectors, including the addition of the MIL-DTL-83723 Series III connector family. The rms Connectors products, capabilities, and reputation for quality align with Cinch’s core strategy of properly positioning ourselves to support our key customers and increase revenue in the military and aerospace market segment.” 

Belden Acquires OTN Systems N.V.
Belden Inc., a leading global supplier of specialty networking solutions, acquired privately held OTN Systems N.V., a leading provider of automation networking infrastructure solutions. This move supports one of Belden’s key strategic priorities related to the growing demand for industrial automation by adding proprietary technology and mission-critical hardware and software products for more complete end-to-end solutions. It also accelerates Belden’s Customer Innovation Center initiatives with advanced solution selling and customer consulting capabilities, allowing the company to bid on a wider array of projects.  

Hermetic Solutions Group Acquires Cristek Interconnects, Inc.
Hermetic Solutions Group (HSG), a global provider of highly engineered performance and protection solutions for mission-critical microelectronics, acquired Cristek Interconnects, Inc. (Cristek), a leading manufacturer of specialty interconnect products and assemblies.  

Delivering QPL and custom, mission-critical solutions to the defense and aerospace industries for over 35 years, Cristek is an award-winning organization, positioned as a strategic supplier to defense/aerospace prime contractors. Its core technologies include micro and nano miniature, D-subminiature, RF/microwave, and filtered connectors.  

“We are very excited to welcome Cristek into the HSG family,” said Keith Barclay, president and CEO of Hermetic Solutions Group. “With shared customer centric values and a highly engineered product offering, Cristek is complementary to our engineered component and microelectronic packaging solutions. As a market leader in the design and manufacture of mission-critical interconnect products, we are thrilled that Cristek is the cornerstone acquisition of HSG’s new Specialty Interconnect Solutions platform.” 

Cristi Cristich, founder and president of Cristek, said, “Joining with HSG ensures Cristek is well positioned to deliver the products, performance, and personalized support that our warfighter customers rely upon.”   

Ticer Technologies Acquires Manufacturing Assets from Materion
Ticer Technologies, a manufacturer and marketer of TCR thin film embedded resistor foil, reached an agreement with Materion Corporation to acquire certain manufacturing assets from Materion’s Large Area Coatings (LAC) Division in Windsor, Connecticut. Ticer will own and operate the vacuum deposition/sputtering production equipment, which will remain in place and continue to be operated by former staff of the Materion LAC operations. Processes, equipment, and raw materials will continue to be the same during the ownership transition. The high-quality TCR thin-film resistor copper foil products offered by Ticer will remain unchanged. 

February 2021 Connector Industry Acquisitions

Amphenol Corporation Acquires Positronic
Amphenol Corporation, acquired Positronic, a global manufacturer of high reliability/harsh environment electronic connector products. Positronic was said to have annual sales of approximately $80 million into the military aerospace, IT datacom, and industrial markets. This acquisition brings together industry-leading knowledge and experience in the market and provides customers with a broad range of products and technical design support.  

“Positronic is a strong fit with Amphenol, aligning well with its technological expertise, manufacturing versatility, and customer support,” said David Kean, general manager for Positronic. “As part of Amphenol, Positronic will continue to provide the connector products and services our customers demand.”  

Prior to the acquisition, Positronic was a privately held company, founded in 1966. Over its history, Positronic has expanded globally with a broad range of power, D-subminiature, rectangular, and circular connector products. The company has locations in the United States, France, Singapore, Indonesia, India, and China.  

TPC Wire & Cable Acquires Hydro Group
TPC Wire & Cable Company, now known as Trexon, acquired Hydro Group, a global provider of custom subsea connectivity solutions. Based in Aberdeen, Scotland, Hydro specializes in the design, engineering, and manufacturing of subsea connectivity products widely used in the oil and gas, marine, renewable energy, and defense industries. The company recently formed an engineered products division to expand its coverage of high-reliability end-markets like military, aerospace, and medical equipment. The acquisition of Hydro expands Trexon’s presence in these desirable end-markets and strengthens its portfolio of specialized, high-reliability wire and cable solutions.  

March 2021 Connector Industry Acquisitions 

Private Equity Firm Warburg Pincus Acquires Infinite Electronics
Infinite Electronics has been acquired by Warburg Pincus from Genstar Capital. The investment will support Infinite’s geographic and product line expansion; its entry into new, high-growth markets; and enhanced digital capabilities. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 

Infinite Electronics offers a broad range of components, assemblies, and wired/wireless connectivity products for the aerospace, defense, industrial, government, consumer electronics, instrumentation, medical, and telecommunications markets. Infinite’s proprietary brands include Pasternack, Fairview Microwave, L-com, MilesTek, Aiconics, KP Performance Antennas, PolyPhaser, Transtector, RadioWaves, ShowMe Cables, INC Installs, Integra Optics, and NavePoint.  

Quantic Electronics Acquires Corry Micronics
Quantic Electronics, a portfolio company of Arcline Investment Management, has acquired Corry Micronics (CMI), a leading supplier of RF and microwave components and subsystems specializing in high power and broadband solutions.  

Since 1970, CMI has provided capabilities, expertise, design flexibility, and customization for a broad range of RF and microwave components and subsystems. CMI’s product portfolio includes RF/microwave filters, diplexers, multiplexers, low noise amplifiers, power amplifiers, RF switches, couplers, power dividers, waveguide components, and configurable RF switch matrices.  

“CMI’s broad portfolio of RF and microwave components perfectly complements our current RF portfolio, while at the same time deepens our customer relationships in key markets,” said Kevin Perhamus, president and CEO of Quantic Electronics. “For decades, CMI has had success as a supplier and partner to major companies serving aerospace, defense, medical, and communications markets, and we look forward to helping them achieve their future growth objectives.”

April 2021 Connector Industry Acquisitions

ACES Electronics Co. Acquires Genesis Technology
ACES Electronics Co., Ltd. acquired Genesis Technology USA, Inc. and Genesis Holding Company. Following the acquisition of Genesis, in addition to notebooks, peripherals for consumer electronics, handheld mobile communication devices, automobile electronics, cloud servers, industrial control industry. ACES’ product range also includes set top box, cable modem, and telecom products.  

Amphenol Corporation Acquires MTS Systems Amphenol acquired MTS Systems Corporation, a leading global supplier of advanced test systems, motion simulators, and precision sensors. “We are excited to have completed our acquisition of MTS and to welcome the talented MTS team to the Amphenol family,” said Amphenol’s President and CEO R. Adam Norwitt. “The combined strength and breadth of our companies’ highly complementary sensor product portfolios will allow us to offer our customers an expanded array of innovative technologies across multiple end markets. We look forward to the new opportunities created by the collective strengths of Amphenol and MTS Sensors as we further capitalize on the long-term growth potential of the electronics revolution.” 

In mid-2021, Amphenol sold the MTS Test & Simulation business to Illinois Tool Works Inc.  

LEONI Sells Wire & Cable Solutions and Leoni Schweiz AG
LEONI sold its Wire & Cable Solutions (WCS) division to a consortium of buyers led by former board member Bruno Fankhauser and Helvetica Capital. The deal also saw the board of directors and the supervisory board sell Leoni Schweiz AG, which is the holding company of Leoni Studer AG, a specialist in high-quality cables and wires for complex applications in the industrial and infrastructure sectors.

“The sale of Leoni Schweiz AG shows that besides the sequential improvement of our operating performance, we are also making progress in focusing on the wiring systems business,” said Leoni AG CEO Aldo Kamper. “The market environment for transactions appears to be steadily improving, and we received tangible indications of interest for further WCS units. We will sell further units if we achieve fair value and if buyers present a viable concept.”

The buyer consortium’s business concept for Leoni Schweiz AG envisions that the company will realize its full potential quickly and flexibly on an independent and stand-alone basis. The business will be further developed in the field of special and safety cables, halogen-free, flame-resistant plastics as well as irradiation cross-linking and sterilization.  

May 2021 Connector Industry Acquisitions

Teledyne Technologies Acquires Flir Systems
In a move to bolster its imaging sensor portfolio, Teledyne Technologies has acquired Flir Systems, a thermal imaging sensor company. Teledyne’s capabilities in X-rays, ultraviolet, microwave, and radio technologies cover numerous specialty applications. Robert Mehrabian, executive chairman of Teledyne, said, “At the core of both our companies is proprietary sensor technologies. Our business models are also similar: we each provide sensors, cameras, and sensor systems to our customers. However, our technologies and products are uniquely complementary with minimal overlap, having imaging sensors based on different semiconductor technologies for different wavelengths.” 

Winchester Interconnect Acquires Ulti-Mate Connector
Ulti-Mate specializes in the design and development of microminiature connectors, nano connectors, and customized cable assemblies. Headquartered in Orange, CA, the acquisition complements Winchester Interconnect’s existing product offerings in the medical and military end markets and adds a new microminiature capability to Winchester’s portfolio of products, which includes RF & microwave, hermetics, cable manufacturing, and cable assemblies. 

Winchester remains focused on delivering creative and streamlined manufacturing solutions that have energized customers’ innovations for over 80 years. The acquisition expands Winchester’s manufacturing capabilities and enhances its growing portfolio of custom interconnect solutions for mission-critical applications.  

September 2021 Connector Industry Acquisitions

Hermetic Solutions Group Acquires FilConn from PEI-Genesis
PEI-Genesis, a global leader in the design and assembly of custom engineered interconnect solutions, sold FilConn to Hermetic Solutions Group (HSG). PEI-Genesis first acquired FilConn in 2016 to better serve customers’ needs for low volume, quick-turn, custom connectors. With the sale of FilConn, PEI-Genesis can focus on its value-added assembly capabilities, a core competency for 75 years.  

HSG is a global provider of highly engineered performance and protection solutions for mission-critical microelectronics. With the purchase of FilConn, HSG supplements its capabilities with an industry leader in precision high-reliability filtered, EMP suppression, and custom configuration connectors for the mil-aero, medical, transit, oil, and gas industries.  

With many years of professional connector design and innovation, FilConn’s specialties include custom product development, hands-on technical customer support, and quick turn manufacturing, often as short as half that of industry competitors. As an AS9100 Rev D certified company, FilConn delivers the highest quality products.  

“We believe this combination will benefit PEI’s customers with an expanded complementary product portfolio,” said Peter Austin, executive vice president and CEO of PEI-Genesis. “PEI will continue to serve as the trusted value-add distributor for FilConn and all major connector brands. HSG and its affiliated companies will provide FilConn’s customers with additional high-reliability products focused on mission-critical environments.”  

“We are very excited to welcome FilConn to HSG as part of our newly formed Specialty Interconnect Solutions Platform,” said Keith Barclay, president and CEO of HSG. “As an industry leader in highly engineered connector solutions for mission-critical applications, coupled with an unwavering commitment to exceed customers’ expectations, FilConn is a natural fit with HSG’s mission and values. We look forward to working together as the FilConn team continues to create value with innovative connector solutions for their customers.”  

TE Connectivity Acquires ERNI
TE Connectivity has acquired ERNI Group AG (ERNI), a leading firm in electronic connectivity for factory automation and automotive. The acquisition of ERNI complements TE’s broad connectivity product portfolio, particularly in high-speed and fine-pitch connectors for factory automation, automotive, medical, and other industrial applications. ERNI augments TE’s engineering and manufacturing footprint and capabilities in board connectivity and expands TE’s customer base and presence in several attractive market segments.  

October 2021 Connector Industry Acquisitions

BizLink Acquires LEONI
BizLink, an international provider of high-quality solutions for cable connections and connectivity services, has acquired LEONI’s Industrial Solutions. The acquisition, announced in October 2021 and completed in January 2022, will expand BizLink’s market presence, especially in Europe, and includes around 20 international locations in 10 countries. The activities of these locations include healthcare, robotics, and automation. 

BizLink’s acquisition of LEONI Industrial Solutions will boost our technical and service capabilities, solidify our global scale, bring us closer to customers, and gain access to new industrial customers,” said Roger Liang, chairman of BizLink. “The acquisition brings forward our long-term diversification plans and will provide BizLink with immediate gains within multiple secular growth industries.” 

“With this step, we are once again proving that we are consistently continuing to implement our announced and already advanced focus on the Wiring System Division,” Aldo Kamper, CEO of Leoni AG, explained. The company intends to consolidate its leading position as a supplier of wiring systems for the automotive industry.  

TE Connectivity Acquires Laird Connectivity Antenna Business
TE Connectivity acquired the antennas business from Laird Connectivity, a leading provider of wireless modules, IoT devices, and antennas. The acquisition of the Laird antennas business complements TE’s broad connectivity product portfolio, particularly in antenna and wireless solutions for Internet of Things (IoT) devices and Edge Access. The acquisition also expands TE’s engineering and manufacturing footprint and strengthens TE’s presence in several attractive market segments.  

“I am excited to welcome the Laird antennas team to TE,” said Sudhakar Sabada, senior vice president and general manager of TE’s Data and Devices business. “Combining TE’s high-speed data and wireless connectivity portfolio breadth, manufacturing scale and distribution with precision engineered and market-leading antenna solutions, we can significantly enhance the value we bring to our customers. This acquisition, with the resulting expansion of our antenna product family and advanced engineering capabilities, is a critical milestone in our strategic vision to expand in the high-growth Edge Access and IoT markets.”  

New Yorker Electronics Acquires Omni Pro Electronics
New Yorker Electronics Co. Inc., a global franchised distributor of passive electronic components, discrete semiconductors, and supply chain services, acquired Omni Pro Electronics, Inc., an electronic component distributor located in Addison, Texas. Omni Pro maintains a deep inventory of industrial control and board-level components used in a broad array of industrial, commercial, and aerospace/defense applications.  

“The purchase of Omni Pro is an integral component of our aggressive acquisition plan, which targets distributors whose products and corporate culture complement our own,” said Barry Slivka, president of New Yorker Electronics. “We are actively identifying companies that fit our acquisition model and have in place the financial, strategic, and operational expertise to execute the purchase of those distributors who meet our criteria.”  

December 2021 Connector Industry Acquisitions

Molex Acquires Wireless Technology and IP from Keyssa
Molex announced the acquisition of wireless technology and intellectual property from Keyssa, a pioneer in high-speed contactless connectors. The acquisition of this unique wireless chip-to-chip technology, including over 350 filed patent applications, will accelerate Molex’s strategy to further expand and diversify its micro connector portfolio with highly flexible, cable-free connectors for near-field, device-to-device applications. 

“Keyssa’s wireless chip-to-chip technology complements Molex’s developments in mmWave antenna connectivity to meet the growing demands for high data rate transmissions,” said Justin Kerr, vice president and general manager, Micro Solutions Business Unit, Molex. “We constantly push the technology envelope for our mobile and consumer device customers, offering greater product design freedom while supporting next-generation wireless connectivity needs.” 

This move will help Molex commercialize next-generation contactless connectors capable of supporting exponentially higher data rates and full-duplex communications. The company will leverage its longstanding signal integrity expertise and mmWave antenna capabilities to reduce connectivity barriers while complementing Molex’s existing portfolio of industry-leading connectivity solutions.  

The acquired technology operates at data rates up to 6 Gb/s on the 60 GHz band with no WiFi or Bluetooth interference. The tiny, low-power, low-latency, solid-state contactless connectors can solve critical data transmission needs with minimal overhead. Molex plans to advance these current capabilities by supporting exponentially higher data rates and full-duplex communications. Additionally, Molex will leverage its longstanding signal integrity expertise and mmWave antenna capabilities to speed the commercialization of new contactless connectors while complementing its existing portfolio of products.  

Molex also will take advantage of the Virtual Pipe I/O (VPIO) technology Keyssa developed to resolve protocol inefficiencies. By aggregating low- and high-speed protocols for simultaneous transmission over one or more links, VPIO can help compensate for real-time events that impact link performance integrity. Used in combination, VPIO and contactless connectors can create extensible and efficient I/O that is free from the limitations of mechanical connectors while being capable of adapting and scaling as dictated by application demands.  

Molex is ramping a team of more than 25 engineers in the U.S. and India to develop next-generation products based on this technology. Initially, the focus will be on the unique connectivity needs of high-volume mobile applications where contactless connectors offer potential benefits in design for manufacturing, serviceability, reliability, signal aggregation, and security. Over time, Molex will apply this technology to address emerging application areas, encompassing smart factories, automotive advanced safety, medical robotics, and more.   

Samtec Acquires Ultra Communications
Samtec Inc. Announced the acquisition of Ultra Communications, a manufacturer of high-speed digital and RF fiber optic components, based in Vista, CA. Ultra Communication’s core competencies include circuit design, optoelectronic package design, and manufacturing of fiber optic components. Founded in 2005, the company holds substantial IP and technology, with active programs in the mil-avionic, space/satellite, ground vehicles, radar, and shipboard connectivity arenas. The acquisition provides Samtec with an opportunity to strengthen and expand its fiber optic product offering for mil/aero and harsh environment applications.

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