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Edgewood-based Tii sold to Kelta for $33.1M

Tii Network Technologies, of Edgewood, has been acquired

Tii Network Technologies, of Edgewood, has been acquired by Kelta Inc. of Plainview. The $33.1 million deal is expected to be done by October. Credit: James A. Escher, 2010

Tii Network Technologies, a Long Island telecommunications equipment maker launched five decades ago in a Levittown garage, will be sold to a manufacturing company based in Plainview, officials said Monday.

The buyer, Kelta Inc., has agreed to pay $33.1 million for Edgewood-based Tii, which produces surge protectors used by telephone companies. Kelta manufactures a variety of electrical equipment at plants in Mexico and China and has been producing products for Tii since 2003.

"We believe that the combined strength of Tii and Kelta secures our position at the forefront of the industry," said Kelta president Parag Mehta.

The acquisition is expected to close by October. The sale price, $2.15 a share, is a windfall for Tii shareholders, allowing them to sell for nearly 50 percent above the stock's closing price on Friday.

Tii was founded by Alfred J. Roach, a high-school dropout and welterweight boxer who found his calling as a brewer and entrepreneur.

After making a small fortune running and selling the Iroquois Brewery of Buffalo, Roach launched Tii in 1964. The company specialized in equipment installed outside homes to prevent lightning strikes from surging inside along the copper wires. During the 1990s, Tii equipment protected an estimated 75 percent of phone lines in the United States.

Roach died in 2010 at age 95. Tii has since expanded into fiber optics and other products as copper has given way to wireless and broadband. The company reported $56.3 million in sales last year, up 60 percent since 2008.

Tii employs about 85 people, including 45 on Long Island. Chief executive Brian J. Kelley said in an interview those jobs should be safe under Mehta: "He intends to grow the company."

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