Embedded computing industry shakeup: Ametek to acquire Abaco Systems in proposed $1.35 billion deal

March 24, 2021
Abaco has been a leading embedded computing firm since its founding in 2015 after Veritas Capital acquired Abaco predecessor GE Intelligent Platforms.

BERWYN, Pa. – The U.S. embedded computing industry is undergoing further changes with the announcement this week that Ametek Inc. in Berwyn, Pa., has agreed to acquire Abaco Systems Inc. in Huntsville, Ala., from Veritas Capital in New York City for a reported $1.35 billion.

Abaco Systems has been among the nation's leading embedded computing component, subsystems, and software developers since its founding in 2015 after Veritas Capital acquired Abaco predecessor GE Intelligent Platforms.

The company had changed its name to GE Intelligent Platforms in 2009 when General Electric and Fanuc agreed to dissolve the GE Fanuc Automation Corp. joint venture, which included GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, a designer and manufacturer of military embedded computing systems.

Ametek specializes in electronic instruments and electromechanical devices, with no substantial background in embedded computing. No immediate word on why Ametek executives decided to acquire Abaco.

Related: Abaco Systems picked to upgrade avionics embedded computing aboard C-130J special operations gunships

It is thought that Abaco needed an infusion of cash to fund new development and products in the company's pipeline, and that the Ametek acquisition may provide that kind of funding. It's unclear if Abaco will keep its name and remain an autonomous subsidiary of Ametek, which had 2020 sales of more than $4.5 billion.

Abaco Systems will become part of the Ametek Electronic Instruments Group (EIG), which focuses on analytical, monitoring, testing, calibrating, and display instruments.

Ametek Chairman and CEO David Zapico says Abaco's embedded computing expertise is positioned across attractive aerospace and defense platforms, and can broaden Ametek's offerings in aerospace and defense applications.

Related: AMETEK acquires California Instruments Corp., expands in test and measurement segment

The legacy of Abaco Systems goes back to the late 1980s and beyond to the period when embedded computing manufacturers were starting a shift from custom-designed products to standard off-the-shelf products that later would be known as commercial off-the-shelf (COTS).

The foundation of Abaco came from GE's 2006 acquisition of embedded computing experts Radstone Technology PLC in Towcester, England, and SBS Technologies in Albuquerque, N.M. Also in 2006 GE acquired avionics networking specialist Condor Engineering in Santa Barbara, Calif. Earlier GE had acquired embedded computing companies VMIC in 2001 and RAMiX in 2003.

For more information contact Ametek Inc. online at www.ametek.com, or Abaco Systems at www.abaco.com.

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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