IOWA CITY, Iowa — Rockwell Collins announced Tuesday the completion of a $71.5 million cash deal to acquire most of the simulation assets owned by Salt Lake-based Evans & Sutherland Computer Corp., which specializes in flight simulation products for military and commercial customers.

As part of the deal, Cedar Rapids-based Rockwell Collins will absorb an estimated 200 Evans & Sutherland employees and simulation facilities located in Salt Lake City; Orlando, Fla.; and the United Kingdom, company officials said.

"We are pleased to welcome Evans & Sutherland's simulation business to the Rockwell Collins family," said Tony Syme, vice president for simulation and training at Rockwell Collins. "The highly realistic images provided by their hardware and software offerings, as well as the knowledge and expertise of these employees, will further broaden and enhance Rockwell Collins' simulation and training offerings."

Rockwell Collins is a producer of cockpit avionics, sophisticated surveillance and navigation systems and in-flight entertainment products. The company's customer base includes everything from commercial passenger and shipping airline companies to domestic and foreign militaries. Last year, the company posted $3.45 billion in total sales.

The addition of E&S assets gives Rockwell Collins a broader portfolio of simulation and training opportunities for military and commercial applications, including the hardware and software to design highly realistic visual images for flight simulation, training and engineering, officials said.

E&S, founded in 1968 by two University of Utah professors, also will grant Rockwell Collins exclusive rights to its newly developed laser projector for simulation markets.

"This transaction is an important step in the development of Evans & Sutherland," said James R. Oyler, E&S president and CEO, in a prepared statement. "E&S will continue to focus on advanced technology in its digital theater and laser projector businesses to produce and deliver the highest quality visual images. The sale of our simulation business will allow us to pursue this strategy with additional resources and sharper focus."

In April, E&S completed the acquisition of Spitz Inc., adding to its digital theater capabilities. E&S employs approximately 125 people worldwide.

Evans & Sutherland stock fell 4 cents Tuesday to close at $5.66 per share on Nasdaq. In the past year, it has traded between $4.50 and $7.91.

Rockwell Collins stock fell 71 cents Tuesday to close at $54.02 per share on the New York Stock Exchange. In the past year, the price has ranged from $43.25 to $60.41.


Contributing: Deseret Morning News