The Flanders-based firm was owned by Gimv, a private equity company that acquired the Open Transport Network (OTN) business unit of Nokia Siemens Networks in 2008 and subsequently founded OTN Systems. Following significant growth resulting from sustained R&D efforts, the company is now ready for further international expansion under the wings of Belden.
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OTN Systems (Flanders) acquired by US telecom giant Belden
Previously, OTN Systems successfully launched XTran, a completely new tech platform for industrial applications. Due to its underlying network technology, XTran is less complex than other, more generic solutions on the market for telecom operators. XTran ensures stable and reliable operation in – at times – harsh conditions, while the control system (TXCare) supports intuitive and simple operation.
Under the leadership of its CEO, Dirk Van den Berghen, OTN Systems has successfully marketed XTran globally. In doing so, the company made relentless R&D efforts and substantial operational improvements, while expanding its global partner network, which includes a number of key OEM agreements with companies such as Belden.
Today OTN Systems operates all over the world, through its own sales offices as well as many local partners. The company employs over 140 people, 60 of which work in R&D. Since XTran was launched in 2015, over 100 customers worldwide have chosen the solution for migrating their legacy telecom networks.
“We are particularly proud that OTN Systems has built a top-notch product portfolio. In recent projects, its commercial teams and XTran have outperformed larger telecommunications suppliers, resulting in exponential growth,” explains Bart Diels, managing partner at Gimv and chairman of the Board of OTN Systems.
As part of the Belden group, OTN Systems is poised to continue growing internationally.
“OTN Systems’ commercial success with XTran is due to the clear choices that were made,” adds Dirk Van den Berghen, CEO of OTN Systems. “Unlike larger traditional competitors, OTN Systems focuses exclusively on the specific telecommunication needs of industrial networks. It has also chosen to devote almost all its attention and resources to developing and marketing the new technology platform, without neglecting the many existing customers of the more mature OTN legacy product.”
This acquisition will accelerate the sales expansion of the XTran portfolio as an essential part of a broader solution for industrial customers.
The transaction has a positive impact of approximately EUR 15 million on Gimv’s net asset value (NAV). Furthermore, the return over the entire investment period exceeds Gimv’s long-term average.