In a bid to boost its Fast Ethernet business, Intel Corp is to acquire Case Technology A/S of Copenhagen, Denmark, for $72m in cash. Case, a division of London-based Anite Group Plc, known until last year as Cray Electronics Plc, will become part of Intel’s Network Products unit and will operate under the name Intel Denmark, taking all its current 146 staff with it. It has concentrated on 10Mbps and 100Mbps Ethernet switching products and small business and branch office routing, an area Intel itself has been showing more interest in over the last few years. Intel was a founder member of the Fast Ethernet Alliance back in 1993, and already supplies its own fast Ethernet adapters, hubs, print servers and switches under the EtherExpress brand name, but believes Case’s Matchbox range of switches and routers will fit alongside its own. The first Case products will appear under the Intel badge this half, and the Case technology will be integrated with Intel’s over time, including at the silicon level – Case curently doesn’t use Intel chips, and was an early supporter of the MIPS Technologies Inc RISC. Intel says its networking business now has a revenue of some $500m, and it wants to build this up significantly over the next few years. It sees networking technology as one of the drivers of the Intel architecture, and wants workgroup performance to match processor performance, pushing personal computers into corporate environments and bringing down the cost of desktops. Case will benefit mostly through access to Intel’s established sales channels. The company has a complicated history. Case started life as Dataco A/S in 1985, and was acquired by the Dowty Group Plc for 22.7m British pounds in 1990 (CI No 1,469). Dowty subsequently sold its information technology arm, including its Case Communications arm, to Cray Electronic Holdings Plc in 1992 (CI No 1,965). Last year, Cray re-structured and renamed itself Anite Group Plc, but revived the name Case Technology for its networking products division, prompting rumors that it was to be sold (CI No 2,991). Only the Danish side of Case is involved in the Intel deal. Intel Corp has also been buying back home, and the company has taken a 12.5% stake in Thousand Oaks, California- based Xircom Inc for $52m. Intel is buying 2.5 million new shares and gets warrants for an additional 7.5% to seal a three-year technology agreement coupled with a multi-million dollar OEM agreement.