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Keithley to sell its rf product line

Test and measurement specialist Keithley Instruments has signed an agreement to sell substantially all of its rf product line to Agilent Technologies.

Keithley's chairman, president and ceo, Joseph Keithley (pictured), said that the company could no longer continue to support its investment in rf measurement products, and would instead focus on growing its core business. He noted: "The impact of the economic downturn changed the expected timing of the returns we were anticipating from our rf product line, extending them beyond a time frame that we were willing to continue to support. We are pleased that Agilent will be assuming this product line. Both Keithley and Agilent will work to provide high quality service and support through the transition for our customers using these products."

The transaction is expected to close at the end of November and it is anticipated that the majority of the rf team will become Agilent employees. Under the terms of the agreement, Keithley will transfer all of the assets associated with its rf product line and Agilent will assume certain related liabilities. Agilent will provide global sales, service and support for the existing rf product line.

As a result of the sale, the company anticipates cash proceeds of approximately $9million and to a pre-tax gain of up to $3.5m during its first quarter ended December 31, 2009.

In a statement, Keithley stated: "We remain committed to supporting our customers in the semiconductor, wireless, precision electronics, and research and education industry segments, serving applications in research, development and production. The divestiture of our rf product line enables us to increase our focus on our core technologies and we intend to expand our efforts to leverage these strengths in support of new growth opportunities such as energy efficiency related devices and materials."

Chris Shaw

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