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Hungry Harris Makes Another Acquisition

Conglomerate Harris Corporation is further bolstering its broadcast business with a $35 million deal for video networking and encoding supplier Aastra Digital Video.

Harris, which bought video server and infrastructure supplier Leitch for $450 million last fall and acquired traffic software vendor OSI last month for $32 million, is aiming to boost its content-delivery offerings by signing a definitive agreement to acquire Bridgewater, N.J.-based Aastra Digital Video, a business unit of Aastra Technologies Ltd.

Aastra makes video networking, encoding, decoding and multiplexing technologies used by broadcasters, telcos and satellite operators, and has been supplying video-networking products to Harris for the past eight years;. they are sold under the Flexicoder and NetVX brand names.

Aastra Digital Video, which counts Turner Broadcasting, the NFL, DirecTV and BellCanada as customers, has approximately 35 employees and tallied 2005 revenues of approximately $18 million with EBITDA of $5.7 million. Harris will acquire the company’s assets for approximately $35 million in cash.

“Harris has had an excellent relationship with Aastra for many years," says Tim Thorsteinson, president of Harris Broadcast Communications Division, "and we believe this acquisition will broaden our engineering resources to address rapidly emerging markets and new services that require expertise in areas such as the distribution and delivery of MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 program streams.”