Chinese company acquires Ottawa-based networking vendor

One of the few remaining staples of Ottawa’s technology cluster, March Networks has been acquired by a Infinova Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of a Chinese company that seeks to gain a stronger foothold in the burgeoning video surveillance market.

Still subject to the approval of shareholders at March Networks and Shenzhen Infinova Ltd., which has U.S. headquarters in Monmouth Junction, N.J., the $90 million deal would see March Networks continue to operate independently from its Ottawa headquarters, maintain its name and brands, and deliver on all of its commitments to customers, while taking full advantage of Infinova’s manufacturing expertise and R&D scale, Infinova said in a statement.

March Networks was founded by Mitel boss Terry Matthews in 2000 as an IP video solutions provider. Matthews was the CEO in 2000 and held that role until 2004 when he took the company public. He is still a director of the company.

Infinova said the combined organization woudl create one of the 10 largest global players in the video surveillance industry, an area in which March Networks have been building its portfolio this year. In April, for example, March Networks announced Command, a revamped version of its VideoSphere video management software (VMS). Designed to oversee up to 128,000 cameras, Command includes the ability to configure and patch large numbers of edge devices at a time, and to have the video replay, capture and tools an investigator needs. In addition, the Enterprise version can take advantage of what the company calls server to server gateway technology to reduce bandwidth across the wide area network, avoiding the expense of multicasting.

March Networks was among the Canadian tech players hurt by the most recent recession, posting millions of dollars in losses as a result of the slump in global spending. In its most recent second quarter results, March Networks posted a quarterly loss of $2.3 million, or 13 Canadian cents a share, versus year-ago earnings of $1.2 million, or seven Canadian cents a share.

Infinova said the transaction is likely to close in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012.

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