December 12, 2012

Honeywell's $600 million purchase of Intermec vaults giant into the auto-ID/data capture mainstream

Deal also seen doubling size of Honeywell's rugged mobile computing business.

By DC Velocity Staff

Honeywell International Inc.'s proposed $600 million all-cash acquisition of Intermec Inc. creates a $1.6 billion-a-year global business for rugged mobile computing and positions Honeywell to capture a larger share of the fast-growing market for auto-identification and data-capture services, according to Honeywell executives.

The acquisition, announced Monday, takes Everett, Wash.-based Intermec private at a price tag of $10 a share. When the deal is completed by the end of the second quarter, Intermec will become part of Honeywell Scanning & Mobility in the company's Automation and Control Solutions business, the Morris Township, N.J.-based industrial and technology behemoth said.

Intermec provides mobile computing, radio frequency identification solutions (RFID), and bar code, label, and receipt printers for use in multiple environments, most notably in the warehousing and supply chain segments. Intermec's 2011 $190 million acquisition of voice technology provider Vocollect Inc. broadened its warehouse and software offerings and undoubtedly made Intermec a more attractive acquisition candidate for a $40 billion giant like Honeywell.

In an investor presentation on Monday where it released its 2013 revenue forecast and outlined the impact of the Intermec deal, Honeywell said the transaction will double its worldwide business for mobile computing and enable it to muscle in on the auto-identification business that is growing at twice the pace of U.S. Gross Domestic Product.

"While Intermec strengthens our core scanning and mobile computing business, it opens up entirely new opportunities in RFID, voice solutions, and barcode and receipt printing segments that we currently don't serve," said Roger Fradin, president and CEO of Honeywell's Automation and Control Systems division.

Fradin said Intermec has "extensive engineering capability and broad sales reach" that will be integrated into the Honeywell infrastructure. Intermec operates more than 65 offices worldwide and employs 2,200 workers.

In a statement, Intermec said global enterprises "increasingly require more robust asset tracking and data-capture applications," adding that the combination will make Honeywell a "technology and information management solutions leader" in auto-ID and data capture.

"We are pleased that Honeywell recognizes and values the capabilities as well as the strategic potential of our business," said Allen J. Lauer, Intermec's chairman and interim CEO, in the statement.

Intermec had disclosed Nov. 1 that it had retained investment firm Bank of America Merrill Lynch to explore strategic alternatives. The transaction is subject to the approval of Intermec stockholders, regulatory approvals, and customary closing terms and conditions, both companies said.

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