Zebra Buys Motorola Solutions' Enterprise Business

With the purchase of a major supplier of fixed and handheld RFID readers, Zebra will now be one of the world's largest providers of RFID hardware, including printers, encoders and readers, as well as software.
By Claire Swedberg

By purchasing Motorola Solutions' enterprise business unit, Zebra is poised to expand its influence geographically, by providing it with Motorola's channel partners, though Gerskovich notes that for the most part, both Zebra and Motorola Solutions already enjoy a worldwide presence.

Zebra does expect the acquisition to strengthen its position in four key industries—retail, health care, manufacturing, and transportation and logistics—by offering full solutions that include tags, readers, printers and software.

The Motorola Solutions business units that are not part of the transaction include Motorola's iDEN network products, such as two-way radios for mobile work crews, and its government-services unit. This reduces Motorola Solutions' core markets to only government and public-safety customers.

Bill Abelson, Motorola Solutions' senior manager of external communications, says the sale of the enterprise business will allow Motorola to better focus on its government and public safety business. "Last year, we undertook a thorough review of our strategy and concluded that the synergies between our government and enterprise businesses were not as great as the value we could create by having each business separately focused on its core markets," he explains. "They are uniquely different businesses with increasingly different profiles, that each need dedicated focus and accountability. This transaction will enable both companies to continue growing, innovating and creating value for our respective customers and shareholders."

Beginning next week, the two companies plan to begin working through such details as in which offices workers will conduct their business. Part of the acquisition, Gerskovich says, includes a large quantity of Motorola offices, meaning that many Motorola workers may continue operating from their existing locations.

"We're very excited to make this happen," Gerskovich states, adding that he expects the acquisition will provide gains for both existing and new Zebra and Motorola Solutions customers. "We believe we can make it simpler and easier for people to deploy RFID than ever before... and gain a quicker return on investment."

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