Triton Systems Inc., a top-five manufacturer of automated teller machines, was acquired last week by a unit of Dover Corp., a Fortune 500 manufacturing conglomerate.

The ATM maker had been looking for new financial backing for two years.

Triton, of Long Beach, Miss., supplies some banks but is best known for making the compact ATMs found in many convenience stores, airports, and gas stations.

It said it shipped 9,433 ATMs in the United States last year, more than NCR Corp. of Dayton, Ohio, a major vendor to banks, which says it shipped 9,243. The leading U.S. vendor, Diebold Inc. of Canton, Ohio, said it shipped 13,150.

Dover, which is based in New York, owns nearly 50 manufacturing companies in industries ranging from circuit boards to dump trucks to cafeteria equipment, but it is not a major supplier to banks. It reported 1999 sales revenues of nearly $4.5 billion and operational profits of $769 million.

Triton's president, Ernest Burdette, said Dover is known for its "hands-off" management style. "An acquisition of this type offers the best of both worlds to Triton, allowing us to continue to operate as an independent organization yet with the backing of a highly successful Fortune 500 company," he said.

Mr. Burdette said the acquisition, which makes Triton part of a publicly owned company, paves the way for continued expansion into international markets. Triton began focusing on export sales in 1998, and last year it shipped 2,120 teller machines - 18% of its total deliveries - to foreign countries.

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