April 16, 2014

Zebra Technologies to acquire Motorola Solutions' enterprise business

$3.45 billion deal to include Motorola's mobile computing, bar-code scanning, and wireless LAN solutions.

By DC Velocity Staff

In a move that could have a major impact on the automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) marketplace, Zebra Technologies announced yesterday that it is purchasing Motorola Solutions' enterprise business for $3.45 billion in cash.

Zebra will get Motorola's enterprise mobile computing, bar-code scanning technology, and wireless LAN, or local area networking solutions. The new products will complement Zebra's current portfolio that includes barcode and enterprise printing; asset tracking; Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, and motion and location sensing.

"This acquisition will transform Zebra into a leading provider of solutions that deliver greater intelligence and insights into our customers' enterprises and extended value chains," Zebra CEO Anders Gustafsson said in a statement. The acquisition positions Zebra to capitalize on the "accelerating convergence of mobility, data analytics, and cloud computing," Gustafsson said.

The transaction will expand Zebra's geographic reach as the combined company will have about 20,000 channel partners in more than 100 countries. The combined product portfolio will include 4,500 U.S. and international patents issued and pending. Approximately 4,500 Motorola employees are expected to join Zebra.

According to the two companies, the combination of Zebra Technologies with Motorola's Enterprise business would have had pro-forma sales in 2013 of approximately $3.5 billion. Zebra had $1 billion in sales in 2013.

According to Motorola Solutions Chairman and CEO Greg Brown, the company is exiting the enterprise market so that it can focus all its efforts on its government and public safety businesses. Motorola Solutions will also keep its Integrated Digital Enhanced Network (iDEN) business, which includes wireless two-way radios for business.

In 2007, Motorola made a big push into the enterprise mobile computing business by acquiring Symbol Technologies for $3.89 billion. Recently, however, the enterprise business has struggled as current customers have delayed their orders as a cost-cutting measure, according to some sources.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

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