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Astronics buys Illinois aircraft products maker

Astronics Corp., moving to complement its line of in-seat power products for airplanes, has agreed to buy an Illinois company that makes in-flight entertainment and connectivity equipment for $104 million in cash.

The acquisition of Telefonix Inc. and a related company, Product Development Technologies, is expected to broaden Astronics' product line to include equipment such as wireless access points, file servers, content loaders, passenger control units and cord reels.

One of Astronics' faster-growing product lines has been its in-seat power generation systems that allow airline passengers to plug in or charge their electronic devices.

"We believe Telefonix is an excellent strategic fit with Astronics," said Peter Gundermann, the company's president and chief executive officer, in a statement Friday. "We believe that Astronics will be able to both strengthen and benefit from the technology and relationships that Telefonix brings to our company."

Telefonix is expected to have between $60 million and $70 million in sales this year. Astronics said the deal, which must be approved by federal anti-trust regulators, is expected to add to the company's profits in 2018. Its impact in 2017 will depend on when the deal closes and the size of one-time acquisition charges that are associated with the purchase. Astronics said those charges are expected to be "nominal."

Telefonix has facilities in Waukegan, Ill., and Lake Zurich, Ill.

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