Itron to buy SmartSynch

Liberty Lake, Wash. February 15, 2012 — Itron, Inc. signed an agreement to buy privately-held SmartSynch, Inc. in a transaction valued at $100 million.

The acquisition will bring greater choice to utility customers across the spectrum of smart metering deployments and strengthen Itron's integrated cellular communications offering. The parties expect the transaction to close in the second quarter of 2012.

"SmartSynch is a compelling strategic acquisition that strengthens our position in the industry and with our energy and water utility customers," said LeRoy Nosbaum, Itron president and CEO. "SmartSynch brings a highly complementary technology to our existing communication network offering, broadens our portfolio and enhances Itron's ability to support our customers with their smart grid projects."

SmartSynch, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is a provider of point-to-point smart grid solutions that use a cellular network for communications. The company has more than 130 customers, including nine of the top ten utilities in North America. SmartSynch and Itron have partnered for more than a decade, delivering integrated solutions to some of Itron's largest smart grid customers.

Itron and SmartSynch's complementary technologies can be used to provide a solution in areas where RF mesh networks are not available, or are cost prohibitive. In addition, SmartSynch's technology will meet the needs of full cellular smart grid network deployments, such as the 1.9 million electric residential and commercial & industrial meter end-point deployment at Consumers Energy.

"Utility customers are demanding more options and this is a combination that just makes sense," said Stephen Johnston, SmartSynch CEO. "Our companies share existing customer relationships, integrated technologies and a common culture that will enable us to pursue new opportunities. Itron's diversified portfolio, combined with our cellular technology, makes us the best team in the business going forward."

Excluding amortization of acquired intangible assets, purchase accounting adjustments and acquisition related charges, the company anticipates that the acquisition will add approximately $50 million in revenues and be dilutive to non-GAAP net earnings per share by less than $0.10 for fiscal year 2012. The acquisition is anticipated to be accretive to revenue and non-GAAP earnings per share in fiscal year 2013.

Itron was advised on the transaction by Centerview Partners LLC. SmartSynch was advised by Stephens Inc.

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