Parent of Naugatuck company buys New York-based manufacturer

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Massachusetts-based Ace & Co. Inc., which operates fiber-optic connector manufacturer Stran Technologies in Naugatuck, has acquired Shane Industries of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., a leading manufacturer of cable reels, the company announced Jan. 10.

The acquisition was completed Jan. 1, according to Tucker Lyman, a spokesman for Stran, which is based at 39 Great Hill Road in Naugatuck. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Lyman said Shane Industries will retain its name and become a subsidiary of Ace, but that the work performed by the company in New York will be relocated to Texas.

Shane employs about 110 people, but Lyman said he could not yet discuss what will happen to those workers.

“That’s still in the works,” he said, though he added that Shane management was retained and is now employed by Stran.

James Stranberg, president of Ace & Co., which is based in Weston, Mass., said Shane’s reel production will be moved to a three-year-old facility his company owns in El Paso, Texas.

“They manufacture reel assemblies for us, and specialized engineering products,” Stranberg said, adding the El Paso facility has a staff of 20 people.

Stran, founded in 1997, makes fiber-optic connectors used in communication and weapons systems, particularly Patriot missile launchers. In addition to supplying products to the military, it also serves the wind, oil and gas, and commercial networking industries.

In addition to the El Paso facility, Ace opened a state-of-the-art, 22,500-square-foot facility in Houston in March last year to serve the oil and gas industry, company officials said.

“Stran has been supporting them with fiber-optic cable assemblies, but having a local presence there is highly beneficial to our customers,” Lyman said.

Stranberg said the Houston facility employs 55 people, while the Naugatuck facility employs about 50.

Shane Industries, he said, “has a 30-year history of manufacturing exceptional reels for military applications, and the value proposition for our customers was considered highly in the acquisition.”

Stran will now be able to provide custom fiber-optic, copper, and hybrid connector-equipped cable assemblies on rugged cable reels to suit nearly any commercial purpose, he said.

Ace & Co.’s history as a military contractor includes pleading guilty to charges it lied to the Defense Department to win contracts. In 2006, the company agreed to pay $230,432 in restitution and a $500,000 fine for not completing the screening process required before receiving a contract for Stran to build a fiber-optic connector for which the military owns the patent.

Court documents at the time indicated that not only did the company not conduct the tests, but that employees decided to submit false test results after learning the tests would cost as much as $42,000.

Lawyers for the company said the employees who submitted the false test results have been fired, and the connectors have since been successfully tested. Authorities also did not claim any of the connectors were defective.

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