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Zebra acquires Motorola’s handheld business for $3.45B

In one of the biggest M&A deals involving RFID, Zebra Technologies is acquiring the enterprise mobility or handheld scanner solutions business from Motorola Solutions for $3.45 billion.

By gobbling up a much larger firm, the deal will more than double Zebra’s annual sales and establishes Zebra as a leader in the burgeoning Internet of Things market.

Zebra CEO Anders Gustafsson says the acquisition opens doors in the IoT market.

Zebra posted 2013 sales of $1 billion. The two companies combined 2013 sales would have totaled $3.5 billion. While global brand strategy has not been determined, it appears that the new company will operate under the Zebra Technology name and that the well-known Motorola brand, iconic in the scanning business, may disappear.

The deal, which is expected to close by the end of the year, gives Zebra access to Motorola Solutions’ wide range of commercial customers and establishes them as a major player in the retail segment, where RFID is exploding through apparel tagging.

While the acquisition allows Motorola to focus entirely on the mission-critical communications for government and public safety customers, the transaction strengthens Zebra’s asset tracking portfolio to create a global leader in enterprise asset intelligence for the connected age.

Like many companies, Zebra is making a hard push to emerge as a leader in the Internet of Things world, where 50 billion devices will be connected over the next 10 years.

“Zebra and the Enterprise business of Motorola Solutions are like-minded organizations, committed to technological innovation that exceeds customers’ business needs,” says Zebra CEO Anders Gustafsson. “Both companies are at the forefront of emerging technology trends like the Internet of Things (IoT). Zebra will now hold thousands of patents, and we will strengthen our leadership in defining and growing IoT enabled solutions.

This is a breaking story. Stay tuned for further details and updates.

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