Belden has announced it will buy WLAN vendor Trapeze Networks for $133 million (£67 million) in cash.

The purchase adds a complete controller-based WLAN product line to Belden's existing copper and fiber optic cabling, cable management, and connectivity products. It's apparently an attempt to position Belden as a supplier of "unified wired and wireless solutions," according to the company's press release.

The acquisition, rumoured for several weeks, will slightly dilute Belden's earnings for the balance of fiscal 2008 and 2009, due to accounting rules that require Trapeze to amortize certain of its revenue, according to a Belden statement. The St. Louis-based company still expects consolidate revenues for the year to be $2.2 billion to $2.3 billion.

Trapeze was one of a pack of startups that pioneered the concept of the "wireless LAN switch," linking with so-called thin access points to centrally control and secure WLANs, and allow clients to roam seamlessly.

It was one of the few remaining independents, others including Colubris, Extricom, and Meru Networks.

Of those early vendors, Airespace was acquired a few years ago by Cisco, for about $500 million, Aruba Networks was the only one to go public, and others either went out of business, like Vivato, or were also acquired, like Chantry Networks by Siemens.

Trapeze, privately held, says it had $56 million in 2007 revenues, and claims 4,000 customers for its WLAN products. Those products also were sold under OEM agreements to 3Com, Enterasys, and Nortel.

In April, Trapeze introduced a two-radio 802.11n access point and a new high-end WLAN controller for large-scale wireless networks.