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CNT to buy Inrange for Fibre Channel storage switches

Multifaceted storage player CNT has announced it will shell out $190 million for Fibre Channel switch maker Inrange Technologies.

Computer Network Technology Corp. (CNT), a storage networking company based in Minneapolis, Minn., has signed a deal to buy Fibre Channel switch maker Inrange Technologies Corp. for a reported --> 0 million.

CNT and SPX Corp., Inrange's majority shareholder, have entered into an agreement under which SPX will sell its approximately 91% interest in Inrange to CNT.

CNT said the remainder of the shares will be acquired through a merger following the acquisition from SPX.

Inrange, which is based in Lumberton, N.J., said it experienced "difficult" economic conditions in the opening months of 2003, with expected revenues in the $41 million range.

"A CNT, Inrange combination makes great strategic sense for both companies, creating one of the world's largest providers of storage networking products and solutions," said Ken Koch, president and CEO of Inrange.

A stark contrast to a report issued less than six weeks ago by the Dell'Oro Group, a Redwood, Calif., market research firm that specializes in the networking and telecommunications industries.

According to Dell'Oro's SAN Report Q42002, Inrange experienced a "significant" increase in port shipments and revenues for its IN-VSN FC/9000 Fibre Channel Director. For 2002, the Dell'Oro Group reported that Inrange's revenue increased 35% to $57.5 million. This report follows research conducted by IDC in 2002, in which IDC reported that Inrange was the fastest growing Fibre Channel Hub and Switch vendor in 2001.

In a recent interview with, Inrange's Dale Lafferty, Vice President, Marketing & Alliances, said Inrange's main goal was to provide customers with highly reliable storage networking solutions that scale, support multiple protocols, enable intermix of transport speeds, and simplify data management and availability. It remains to be seen what Inrange's goals are now that it belongs to CNT.

Thomas Hudson, chairman, president and CEO of CNT, said that the deal expands CNT's product line and will provide the company with "significant scale and cost-reduction opportunities."

CNT said it will continue to offer an integrated Fibre Channel product line and will be a full-service solutions provider in the industry.

Inrange makes Fibre Channel switches, storage networking and wave division multiplexing products, while CNT is known for ESCON, SCSI and Fibre Channel-based IP and wide area network products, consulting, design, implementation and network monitoring services. The company also offers third-party storage integration services.

Inrange isn't the only storage company CNT has gobbled up in the past year. In June, the company bought London-based BI-Tech Solutions, a privately held provider of storage management solutions and services.

For $12 million, CNT gained BI-Tech's family of integrated storage solutions and services, including consulting, implementation and managed services, along with hardware and software. CNT also acquired BI-Tech's employees in the United Kingdom and Sweden.

CNT said the Inrange transaction is subject to antitrust clearance and closing conditions; it is expected to close in the second quarter of 2003.

Let us know what you think about the story. E-mail Kevin Komiega, News Writer


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