Switzerland-based power and automation company ABB has agreed to snap up KEYMILE’s mission critical communication business to boost its communication networks portfolio.

The acquisition is expected to enable ABB to gain access to key products, software and service solutions, and research and development expertise.

Besides, it is expected to strengthen ABB’s digital offerings by adding reliable communications technologies that are vital to maintain dynamic and complex digital electrical grids.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2017.

KEYMILE, headquartered in Hanover, was formed by the merger of three technology companies in Austria, Germany and Switzerland in 2002. It has over 350 employees and installations across 100 countries.

Post acquisition, around 120 employees of KEYMILE will be observed into the Grid Automation business unit of ABB’s Power Grids division.

ABB Power Grids division president Claudio Facchin said: “ABB is a global leader in communication networks for utility customers. The acquisition of KEYMILE’s mission-critical communication business will strengthen this position and extend our market reach in the industrial, transportation and infrastructure sectors.

“This move supports our growth plans and digitalization push as part of our ABB Ability offering, as we strengthen our position as the partner of choice in enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid.”

KEYMILE CEO Rolf Unterberger said: “Reliable telecommunications become increasingly important as the number of connected devices increases. While digitalization provides opportunities for operational efficiencies and asset optimization, it also brings new complexities in maintaining mission-critical operations.

“We are very pleased that industry leader ABB will acquire our mission-critical communication networks business, which will enable the continued development of cutting-edge products, software and service solutions for grid operations.”