OC drive maker Wangdat jockeying in hot niche. (Orange County; digital auto tape drive maker; acquisition by Rexon Inc.) (Company Profile)

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. -- (by JOHN LONGWELL, ORANGE COUNTY BUSINESS JOURNAL)--Nov. 11, 1991--Wangdat, an upstart Irvine-based tape drive maker, has gained some new marketing muscle with its acquisition by Rexon Inc. in Manhattan Beach. The union sets up Wangdat as a rough equal to its Costa Mesa-based rival, the Archive Corp., in the emerging market for a new type of tape drives for computers.

The two Orange County companies, along with Palo Alto-based Hewlett-Packard, now each has about a fourth of the still small (estimated at $120 million this year) but burgeoning market for digital audio tape drives.

Wangdat is being acquired by Rexon for stock and five-year notes in a deal valued at $12 million, according to a definitive agreement reached Oct. 28. Venture capitalists have put more than $8 million into Wangdat since it was launched...