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Comtech to acquire Canadian provider of 911 services for $33 million

Comtech has agreed to acquire Solacom, a Canadian

Comtech has agreed to acquire Solacom, a Canadian provider of 911 services, for $33 million. Credit: Newsday/David Trotman-Wilkins

Comtech Telecommunications Corp. has agreed to acquire a Canadian provider of 911 services for $33 million, the company announced Tuesday.

Shares of Melville-based Comtech climbed 1.3 percent to close at $24.74 after the announcement of the plan to purchase Solacom. Twelve months ago the stock was trading at $21.06.

The move comes as users shed landlines and migrate toward mobile phones and municipalities and government agencies seek to incorporate text, images and video into next-generation 911 services, known as NG911, to access emergency response systems.

"We believe Solacom is a leader in technology innovation in the NG911 space," Fred Kornberg, president and chief executive of Comtech, said in a statement. "With safety and security markets at growth inflection points, the Solacom acquisition is a significant step in our strategy of enhancing our solutions offerings."

Pierre Plangger, president and CEO of closely held Solacom, based in Gatineau, Quebec, will remain in that position, according to the news release.

"I expect our customers will benefit from significantly greater resources and more diverse product offerings, and our employees will benefit from being part of a larger, more diversified company," Plangger said in a statement.

Closing of the transaction, expected during Comtech's fiscal quarter ending April 30, is subject to approval by regulators, including the Superior Court of Quebec.

 In February 2016, Comtech acquired TeleCommunication Systems Inc., based in Annapolis, Maryland, for $430.8 million.

Comtech's revenues are split roughly evenly between commercial products like 911, messaging and satellite communication services, and government services such as secure satellite communications and electronic warfare products.

The company had 1,852 employees, including contractors, as of July 31.

Comtech is Long Island's 12th largest public company based on 2017 revenue of $550.4 million. The company forecasts fiscal 2019 revenue of $625 million to $640 million.

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