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History 2000: Overland in Travan with Acquisition of Tecmar in Bankruptcy

For $3.2 million in cash

Library manufacturer Overland Data has signed an agreement to purchase the operating assets of Travan drive maker Tecmar, that is to say, all inventories, supplies, IP, trademarks (Tecmar, ex-Iomega Ditto, WangDAT) and all Internet addresses for around $3 million in cash.

Completion of the acquisition is subject to bankruptcy court and an overbid process, since Tecmar filed recently for bankruptcy protection.

Tecmar is a subsidiary of TTI or Tecmar Technologies International, listed on the Oslo, Norway, stock exchange, and with no other activities.

Its sales had fallen off considerably, to $24 million for the 12-month period ended October 31, 1999, and the company currently employs a workforce of 40.

The Longmont, CO company was focused on the hard-hit Travan market, acquiring last year lomega’s Ditto QIC tape cartridge activity for $3 million, and developing Travan NS drives for the entry-level server market, certainly quality products, but ones that are, unfortunately, distributed rather timidly.

Not that long ago, Tecmar (like Imation, Seagate and Tandberg) signed an agreement with Overland in order to integrate the latter’s VR2 PRML technology, and thus double the capacity of its cartridges.

Overland has years of experience in tape technology, particularly with half-inch reel-to-reel and cartridge products, thanks in particular to the acquisitions of Mountain Engineering in 1992 and Cipher a year later, but backed off tape drives in order to focus on automation products.

The company ceased its 9-track IBM legacy tape drive activities last June, due more than anything to the discontinuation of one of the required chips, and has given Georgens Industries the full rights to manufacture, sell and service its 5622 tape drives in exchange for royalties.

Overland has since had second thoughts, and plans to pursue Tecmar’s Travan drive and autoloader program, preferring to invest in low-end server drives rather than the overcrowded mid-range portion of the market.

This article is an abstract of news published on issue 144 on January 2000 from the former paper version of Computer Data Storage Newsletter.

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