Eka Systems unloaded all of its assets to Cooper Industries today, a move that will give the industrial manufacturing giant another puzzle piece in its smart grid portfolio.

The details of the transaction were not disclosed, but Eka Systems’ open-network wireless networking technologies will be folded into Cooper’s Energy Automation Solutions platform, which currently offers power line carrier systems for advanced metering infrastructure and grid optimization.

"For AMI applications, we are the market leader for PLC based installations and with this acquisition will be able to offer our customers who require both PLC and RF technologies more customized solutions to meet their individual needs in both rural and urban service territories," said Mike Stoessl, president of Cooper Power Systems, in a statement.

While the sale of the assets will surely benefit Cooper as it looks to compete in grid optimization, it highlights Eka’s struggles to gain a toehold while competing with AMI networking leaders such as Silver Spring Networks and Trilliant.

"Eka Systems was going after an attractive market opportunity but was never a real player in this space, as is proven out by being forced to sell their assets,” said Rick Thompson, smart grid analyst and President/Co-Founder of Greentech Media.  “Cooper, with their installed base of utility customers, is much more likely to take advantage of some of the underlying technology here."

Cooper Power Systems, Inc., with 2009 revenues of approximately $1.1 billion, is a division of Cooper Industries. Eka Systems reportedly raised around $40 million in funding to date; its last round, for $18.5 million in July 2008, was led by Flybridge Capital Partners. 

"It goes to show that this is not a one-network- or one-protocol-fits-all kind of game, though a lot of people like to think of it as some type of panacea-like smart grid solution,” said Thompson. “These are complex systems where the communications infrastructure requirements will differ based on customer, region, physical geography, application, etc. This level of consolidation is not at all surprising."