Siemens have announced it will buy Canadian company RuggedCom Inc, a maker of data communications networks systems, for about $381m in cash, to improve access to markets in North America and the Asia-Pacific region.

RuggedCom , which had revenues of around $94m last year makes heavy-duty routers and Ethernet cables specifically designed for challenging environments such as those found in electric power substations and Smart Grids.

The deal, considered small for Europe’s biggest engineering company, is Siemens‘ (Munich, Germany) largest since it took over Israeli solar thermal fields maker Solel for $418m in 2009.

Anton Huber, Chief Executive of Siemens Industry Automation division, said the acquisition of RuggedCom would improve Siemens’ router and switch products.

RuggedCom’s board of directors will recommend that its shareholders accept the offer, Siemens said.

In December, Siemens acquired eMeter Corporation (San Mateo, Calif., USA), a startup company focusing on Smart Grid technologies for utilities such as power and water.

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