Laird Technologies, a designer and manufacturer of antenna solutions, electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding products, telematics and thermal management solutions, announced the acquisition of Steward Inc. and its subsidiaries for $52.5 M. Steward is a provider of ferrite-based products that are used to remove unwanted EMI “noise” and other signals at unwanted frequencies from conductors. Steward revenues in their fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, were $50 M.

Steward was founded in 1876 and as expected for a company in business this long, has “reinvented itself” a number of times, most recently in the electronic component sector. The company’s headquarters are in Chattanooga, TN, and they have manufacturing facilities in Hermosillo, Mexico and Shunde, China, and sales and distribution centers in Scotland, Taiwan, Singapore and Guangzhou, China.

“Our strategy is to offer our customers a total solution to deliver electromagnetic signals from the air to the board, and ensuring the integrity of the signals as they pass through the conductors is key,” said Martin Rapp, CEO of Laird Technologies. “We design antennas that communicate between the air and the device. We design EMI shields that prevent interference with the signal from electromagnetic noise in adjacent airspace. Now we can design products that prevent interference with the signal from connected cables and conductors. We intend to be the leaders in this business, and Steward is a great way to start.”

“Steward has a strong and growing business in products that ensure signal integrity in electronic devices,” said Keith Eischeid, president of Steward. “Combined with Laird Technologies’ outstanding global network of facilities, sales channels and customer relationships, I am sure the business will grow even faster.”