Ericsson has acquired telecoms and utility integrator, TUSC Computer Systems, for $9.5 million as part of plans to strengthen its services.
The price tag is $2.8 million higher than that paid by former owner, Allied Technologies Australia (ATA), when it acquired the Melbourne-based TUSC business 12 months ago.
Ericsson vice-president of services, Simon Gatward, said TUSC would enhance its integration nous by providing additional resources and skills. Under the new agreement, the communications and networking vendor would retain all 80 employees at TUSC, as well as the brand.
Ericsson currently provides implementation services for its own portfolio of telecoms and networking products, relating to support in four areas: telecom management, revenue, assurance, general operating systems and services, Gatward said. TUSC brought in expertise in network management, operating systems support and general telecoms management, he said.
"TUSC has business in areas that we haven't focused traditional on before," he said. "It complements what we do nicely."
The transaction would give Ericsson the ability to expand out of its traditional telco hold and into the utility sector, Gatward said. Both organisations worked with the same customers in the telecoms space, including Telstra, but shared little overlap in other market segments. Current TUSC-only customers include Melbourne Water and United Energy.
"We believe there will be utility companies looking to move into the telco space in one sense or another," he said. "We see some amalgamation and synergy being leveraged between the telco and utility sectors as their systems are common."
ATA put the TUSC business up for sale in August, just 12 months after purchasing it. At the time, chairman and managing director, Michael Addison, attributed the decision to ATA's falling share price and inability to grow sufficiently through acquisition.
The acquisition is one of five undertaken by Ericsson globally. Last month, the company announced its intention to purchase telecoms vendor, Marconi for $US2.1 billion.