Ericsson is boosting its 5G technology expertise, closing on the acquisition of Kathrein’s antenna and filter technology division.
In announcing the acquisition earlier this year, Ericsson noted Kathrein’s strong R&D organization with extensive experience in antenna design and research, coupled with a strong IPR portfolio. The value of the transaction wasn’t revealed.
The acquisition adds about 3,500 professionals to Ericsson’s ranks. Most of the staff is based in Europe, but Kathrein has offices based in more than 20 locations, including Germany, Romania, the U.S., Mexico and China.
Ericsson acknowledged that adding capabilities in the area of advanced active and passive antenna domains is increasingly important as 5G evolves.
"We are confident that together, we will evolve our radio products that customers need for 5G and beyond,” said Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president and head of Business Area Networks at Ericsson, in a statement. “By integrating radios with antennas while making the best use of site space, we will continue to develop a world-class next-generation portfolio.”
Kathrein, which has been undergoing a restructuring, said that its remaining business units, which include IoT and high frequency solutions, have been spun off into independent companies.
“We are very happy that the sale transaction is completed. It will ensure the future viability and competitiveness of this important business,” said Hans-Joachim Ziems, who has been responsible for restructuring the Kathrein Group since the end of 2017, in a statement.
Last week, Ericsson announced it will apportion $1.23 billion in its third quarter 2019 earnings to cover an estimated fine of $1 billion, plus other related costs, related to a corruption investigation in regard to Ericsson's compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
Ericsson didn't say what the corruption investigation pertains to, but some press reports have said it relates to bribery scandals dating back more than a decade. The FCPA is a U.S. law consisting of both anti-bribery provisions and accounting transparency provisions.