I see where Siemens outbid Belden for Ethernet component manufacturer RuggedCom. According to reports, Belden offered $22 per share in a hostile take over and Siemens entered (evidently as the “white knight”?) with a $33 bid that was quickly accepted.

When I was in Nuremberg at SPS, Siemens spent considerable time discussing Ethernet with us. I am not surprised with the acquisition. But with Belden buying Hirschmann some time ago, I wonder if this market is suddenly ripe for consolidation. In that case, who is next? Not Cisco, obviously. But there are a number of smaller Ethernet component companies that are doing well.

I’ve missed on some of my technology calls. Looking for paths to take Automation World in sub-specialities, I tried safety then wireless. Neither had advertising support enough to thrive. But when I started the Industrial Ethernet Review finding applications was difficult and surprising. Now, Ethernet is mainstream within manufacturing. It’s a real growth area.

What do you think? Will Belden pick on someone else with RuggedCom gone? Who? Rockwell has a long standing relationship with Cisco, but would it forsake the relationship to acquire someone?

One thing is for sure–this is already shaping up to be the year for acquisitions. Stay tuned.

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