Merger-mania: Has test and measurement gone MAD?
Keysight acquiring Anite. Teradyne acquiring Universal Robotics. Cobham acquiring Aeroflex. Danaher splitting in two, divesting Tektronix. Has the industry gone MAD?
Yes, but not crazy mad or angry mad. MAD, as in mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. The pace of MAD has recently accelerated. You can be forgiven if you feel you need a scorecard to keep track of the brands and products. As a server from Wendy’s commercial from the 1980s tries to explain, "As I hear tell, all the parts are crammed into one big part (fused), yeah then, the one big part is cut up into little pieces parts; and parts is parts."
But in test and measurement, “Parts aren’t parts.” These are very technical product lines that serve focused segments, and the mixing and matching is part of the dance vendors perform to achieve identified application and financial synergies. The key to MAD success in this dance is twofold: find the right partner, do the right dance steps. Do this right, and 1 + 1 = 3. Synergy! Do it wrong, and 1 + 1 = 1.5. Loss of value.
This column, Test Café, traditionally covers instrument architectures and industry moves. There are no bigger moves than mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. I will give the low-down on four of them. So with that in mind, let’s look at the recent MAD activity, starting with Keysight and Anite.