Antenna firm Airgain buys Arizona Internet of Things outfit

San Diego’s Airgain, a maker of antennas for set-top boxes, Wi-Fi routers, digital TVs and other devices, said Monday that it’s buying Antenna Plus out of receivership for $6.4 million in cash.

Airgain said the deal adds to its product line-up, particularly in trucking and outdoor Internet of Things devices.

“With the large anticipated growth of Internet of Things devices in automotive fleet, government, and industrial markets, we see an opportunity to build on our core strengths and expand our footprint beyond the embedded antenna category,” said Charles Myers, chief executive of Airgain, in a statement.

Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, privately held Antenna Plus has been in business since 1991. It focuses on mobile antennas for private network government, public safety and automatic vehicle locator markets. It also makes antennas for the connected kiosk/vending machines.

Airgain is buying Antenna Plus from MCA Financial Group, a receiver appointed by a judge in a partnership dispute, said Alexis Waadt, Airgain’s director of investor relations. The sale was ordered by the court. The company has about 20 workers.

Waadt said Airgain plans to retain the Arizona location. Antenna Plus had sales of $7.5 million last year. Airgain expects the purchase, which will be complete in 20 days, will boost its financial results in 2017.

According to industry research firm Markets and Markets, Internet of Things gear will grow at an average annual rate of 33 percent over the next five years.

Forrester, another research firm, predicts fleet management, security, and surveillance applications in government and warehouse management will be among the hottest areas for Internet of Things growth.

Airgain shipped 159 million wireless antenna products worldwide last year. Customers include set-top box maker Arris, Belkin, Comcast, DirecTV, Huawei, Samsung and ZTE. It has about 50 employees worldwide.

The company posted sales of $43.4 million last year, up 54 percent over the prior year. Net income was $3.7 million, compared with a loss of $270,000 in 2015.

The company went public last August at $8 per share. The stock ended trading Monday at $14.96 on the Nasdaq exchange.

By: Mike Freeman