Network Technology Acquires Twinax, Token Ring Assets from NLynx, Madge
March 20, 2006 Timothy Prickett Morgan
After more than a decade of commercialized Internet networking technology, you would be reasonable in thinking that for the most part, the twinax workstation and various twinax routers and switches were a dead market, and that similarly, was demand for Token Ring networking technologies. Both of these technologies were created by IBM for its minicomputer lines decades ago, and they are all but gone from the IT landscape.
All but, but not quite, and that is why British company Network Technology has snapped up the Token Ring and twinax assets of NLynx Technologies and Madge.
The fortunes of NLynx have waned as demand for these technologies has dropped. In 1999, NLynx acquired the twinax and printing assets of Decision Data, a former midrange powerhouse that made all kinds of System/3X and AS/400 equipment. By combining the two companies and making products that could bridge the twinax-Token Ring AS/400 market and the IP-Ethernet equivalents in the broader Internet, NLynx though it could build a pretty good business. But when the IT market went south two years later, NLynx went into bankruptcy. The company emerged from bankruptcy in the summer of 2002, with a product line that spanned from AS/400s to Unix servers to mainframes and from thin clients to terminals to printers and connectivity products, and seemed ready to carve a piece of business for itself under the NLynx name. Now, four years later, Network Technologies owns all of the assets from the former NLynx and Decision Data. These products are expected to result in around $600,000 in sales a year.
Networking Technologies has also acquired assets from the former Madge Limited, a British maker of Token Ring and switch products, among other things. Madge claims that there are over 15 million Token Ring nodes still out there in the world, and Networking Technology has acquired its products, designs, brand names, and inventory. The Madge products are expected to amount to about $1 million a year in sales.
Both units will operate under Network Technology’s Ringdale unit. “Ringdale will re-use the registered trademarks of ‘NLynx’ and ‘Decision Data’ as product brands,” explains Klaus Bollmann, chief executive officer at Networking Technologies. “We expect to upgrade the thin client range and add Ringdale’s access technology to those devices. Although twinax and Token Ring are legacy products, there is a residual market for those products for the next two years in regions where expenditure in the corporate world does not allow a full replacement of IT infrastructure. We expect this acquisition to give us even better access to Fortune 500 companies for our flagship FollowMe printing product, as well as existing NLynx products adding further to our bottom line.”
Network Technology is a public company that trades on the London Stock Exchange and has a market capitalization of about 2.3 million pounds, which is about $4 million U.S.