Inc. 500 alum 2Wire was snapped up over the weekend by Pace for nearly a half billion dollars in cash. Not bad for a company started in 1998.

Pace, a British firm and the largest set-top box maker in the world, will pay $475 million for the broadband technology company. The acquisition is expected to give Pace greater access to the U.S. market.

2Wire, headquartered in San Jose, California, reached #26 on the Inc. 500 list in 2004, posting revenue growth of more than 3,000 percent. The company remained on the list the following two years and was an Inc. 5000 company in 2007, when revenue exceeded $225 million.

2Wire is currently owned by a consortium of investors including Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, Telmex, Oak Investment Partners, Meritech Capital Partners, and Technology Crossover Ventures.

The close relationship with AT&T appears to have been particularly attractive to Pace. Neil Gaydon, chief executive of Pace said in a press release: "2Wire, with its expertise in the broadband residential gateway market, will enable us to address a full range of US operator requirements..The transaction introduces deep client relationships with important customers including AT&T and further develops our platform to deliver ongoing sustainable growth."

AT&T president of supply chain and fleet operations Tim Harden even made an appearance in the press release announcing the deal: "AT&T looks forward to continuing our working relationship with 2Wire under Pace's ownership."