Zebra Technologies buys Motorola enterprise unit for $3.5bn

Zebra Technologies has reportedly snapped up Motorola Solutions' enterprise unit for $3.5 billion in cash.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Zebra Technologies will take on Motorola Solutions' enterprise unit, a maker of mobile devices for businesses.

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The Financial Times, citing sources close to the matter, reports that the deal was agreed to in the past few days and could be officially announced as early as Tuesday.

The all-cash deal is expected to go ahead for $3.5 billion.

Zebra specializes in barcode, receipt, kiosk, and RFID printers and supplies for businesses. The Lincolnshire, Illinois-based firm provides tracking technology to companies worldwide, from helping Amazon track inventory to building human-tracking gadgets, which help athletes assess their performance.

The company says it is a provider of technologies that "allow customers to take smarter actions," and "provide greater visibility into mission-critical information."

Motorola's enterprise unit not only produces mobile devices including tablets for the corporate market, but also sells barcode scanners to retailers worldwide.

The technologies fall under the Internet of Things (IoT) — the idea of connecting and tracking physical goods through networks and the Web. Zebra's acquisition may be related to the launch of Zebra's Zatar unit in 2013, which focuses on helping businesses use IoT to improve operations. In a press release at the time, Zebra said:

The increased use of cloud computing and the ubiquity of wireless networks have made connecting devices and sensors more appealing and cost-efficient. This has fueled the rapid growth of the Internet of Things and the race to connect devices and sensors that can be remotely monitored, managed and mined for valuable data.

In December, Zebra acquired Hart Systems, a provider of cloud-based physical inventory management solutions, for approximately $94 million in cash.

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