Entrega, the company that pioneered USB expansion products, has been bought by Xircom, a California-based business best known for its PC cards and connection kits for notebook PCs.

According to a statement released yesterday by Xircom, 323,905 shares of Xircom stock will be exchanged for all outstanding shares and options of Entrega, and the deal is expected to be closed within the next two weeks.

Entrega was one of the leaders in the USB market, and Apple’s willingness to embrace USB technology with its iMac and Power Mac accounted in some part for the company’s success. David Murray, Entrega’s vice president of product marketing, was one of the original developers of USB technology.

The USB market is expected to rocket in the next few years – research firm Dataquest predicts that all notebook and PC shipments in 2001 will be USB compatible.

Entrega products, which include USB hubs, adaptors, converters and cables, will now be marketed as Xircom PortGear products. It is not yet known how the buy-out will affect Entrega’s employees here in the UK or in the US. A spokeswoman for Entrega was unable to comment but said the company expects to issue a statement within the next few days.