With the New Year upon us, RFID 24-7 is working on its top trends to watch in 2013. First and foremost on that list is industry consolidation. Mergers and acquisitions seem to make the list every year, but 2013 could see quite a ramp-up in merger activity as buyers target a fragmented RFID sector ripe for consolidation.
Following on the heels of Honeywell’s deal to acquire Intermec, RFID 24-7 has learned that another well-known RFID firm will be acquired later this month. The buyer in the deal is a newcomer to the RFID space seeking to expand by investing in the technology.
In addition, TagMaster S/B Malaysia has been acquired from TagMaster AB Sweden by a group of investors with a rich tradition in the RFID and semi-conductor industry. TagMaster S/B is in the process of being renamed to SensMaster to reflect on an increasing focus on advanced sensor tags and to avoid confusion with TagMaster AB.
The Honeywell deal represents a natural product extension and will augment Honeywell’s existing strategies while moving the company into the RFID space in a greater capacity. Before the deal, Honeywell had just two products in its RFID portfolio.
Don’t be surprised to see players like Danaher, Tyco, Trimble, or even Cisco become involved as they look to establish greater RFID platforms. The software sector is ripe for consolidation as hardware providers and others realize the need to put all the data to work that they are now able to capture. This is where software service providers come into play. Those firms could prove valuable pick-ups for some companies.
“Consolidation continues in the auto-ID industry,” says Mike Liard, director of the Auto-ID practice at VDC Research. “I think there is room for additional consolidation and I think [the Honeywell deal] might prod others to do so. We’re pretty consolidated on the barcode side of things, but in RFID without question there is more room for consolidation.”
Stay tuned to RFID 24-7 for more details on the next merger.
Click here to read about some of the merger deals we covered in 2012.