2000 to present day
In 2000 a new identity “Spirent” was launched reflecting its culture of “inspired innovation”. The Company changed its name to Spirent plc on 12 May, 2000 and declared that the Group strategy would be to focus on high growth, high margin, high technology activities and build a world-leading communications business. The first acquisition in communications test had come in 1995 with the acquisition of Telecom Analysis Systems. This was followed by Global Simulation Systems and Adtech in 1997, Netcom Systems in 1999 and Heikimian Laboratories in 2000, there were also a number of smaller acquisitions. The majority of Spirent’s acquisitions were based in the United States but sales operations were also established in Europe and in Asia to support and expand the Group’s global activities.
The Company changed its name to Spirent Communications plc on 8 May 2006.
Spirent listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2001, terminating the listing in 2007 due to the high cost and the onerous reporting requirements of maintaining it.
Whilst Spirent’s communications businesses saw high growth during the technology boom, there were tougher times ahead economically, and particularly in the telecoms sector, which resulted in restructuring actions being taken by the Group in the period 2001 to 2007. Despite the need for tight cost control, Spirent continued to invest in product development to maintain its position at the forefront of next-generation technologies to drive future growth.
There were further divestments of non-core activities. The Network Products Group, (the HellermannTyton Division) was sold in 2006. The cash from the sale significantly improved the Group’s financial position and enabled the Group to repay its debt. Following this disposal the Group was comprised of its communications divisions, Performance Analysis and Service Assurance, and the Systems Group, a leading global designer and supplier of DC and AC controllers for specialist electric vehicle applications in the medical mobility and industrial markets.
An element of the Group’s current strategy is to focus on growing and emerging technology markets. Most recently, and in line with this strategy, Spirent has acquired the following businesses in the United States. Mu Dynamics, Inc. was acquired in April 2012 for a cash consideration of $40 million. Mu offers security solutions that enable faster, higher quality deployments of cloud applications and applications-aware networks. Metrico Wireless, Inc. was acquired in September 2012 for a cash consideration of $52 million. Metrico is a leading provider of services and tools that enable carriers, device vendors and technology providers to analyse the performance and subscriber quality of experience of mobile devices in the field.
On the 1st November 2012 Spirent sold the last of its non-core businesses, Systems for $64 million. Following this disposal Spirent’s activities are fully focused on the communications test and measurement market.
Spirent today may not be the same Company that Jack Bowthorpe established over 70 years ago, but it still embraces some of the same core values. It has always welcomed change, remained customer focused, valued its employees and maintained its ability to adapt to market conditions. The actions taken in recent years have also resulted in a much stronger organisation both operationally and financially.